Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Why I Won't Vote for Duterte

As I am writing this, I am undecided as to who to vote. But one thing is clear: I am not for Duterte, and (based on experience) I don’t expect his supporters to respect my stand.

He is currently mayor of Davao for 7 terms now. I admit—he’s done something remarkable in Davao, as remarkable as, if not more than, what Binay did for Makati before he became VP. If Wiki is right, DU30 did it over a period of 20 years! No one else could have pulled that off in a city with warzone violence. So why am I still not supporting his candidacy for President?

  •    His methods

We all have an idea as to how he minimized—if not eliminated—crime rate in Davao: killing criminals in cold blood. We also have an idea what he is: a vigilante. He’s criticized for tolerating extrajudicial killings of alleged crimes by the vigilante Davao death squad, and for inciting murders in his city. He would kill criminals even for non-heinous crimes (e.g. rice smuggling). He even confirmed those claims. However, as the office of the President of the Philippines has stated, "Killing a person is against the law. The President has been firm in the belief that no one is above the law. We must not resort to extralegal methods.” ("Palace, CBCP, rights activists gang up on Davao mayor". Manila Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014).

It's not even far-fetched to call him a "murderer"—a crime worthy of the death sentence he wants to impose on the country if he wins.

I admire his anger against illegal activity—I am too—but does the end justify the means? And do two wrongs make a right? Stopping corruption through a similar form of corruption? Yes your children may be safe on the streets—assuming innocent lives won’t be affected by his methods, directly or not—however they’re also not safe within. He will be setting an unfavorable example for your children to follow—maybe even worse than the other political candidates. He will be teaching them that it’s ok to kill in cold blood without due process for the greater good. (They can kill you anytime you abuse them since child abuse is a crime)

I’m okay with death penalty, as long as they are executed for heinous crimes alone (e.g. murder), and as long as it is done with due process. DU30 knows none of that. For him if you unload smuggled rice, PATAY ("Duterte and the Law Enforcers’ Code of Ethics". Manila Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014). And this culture of impunity has incited even private warlords and businessmen vigilantes to take retribution against those they felt had acted against their interests, killing journalists who expose corruption and human rights exposing abusive police and military men (source the same as previous).

  • His unrealisticness (if there’s such a word)

I admire the fact that, of all the candidates, he alone has a personal deadline. However, being time-bound is not enough. You gotta be real too. 

If DU30 did what he did for Davao in more than a year, how in the world can he do the same for the Philippines in 3-6 months? Davao ain’t Philippines. Davao is a province, the Philippines is a whole country way bigger than Davao, an archipelago even. He probably wasn’t thinking when he said those words. And for all we know, he means 3-6 YEARS! And if he really meant years, then we’ve all been deceived. He’s double-tongued.

  • His reputation

We are well aware of how he talks: agitative, below-the-belt, insensitive. Just recently he made a joke about the rape of a woman by prisoners in Australia. Do we want a representative that’s not careful with what he says to/about the people of the world? Actions like physical crimes hurt people, but insensitive words hurt more. You can’t take it back even if you apologize.

We also know his attitude towards women. Not only is he a womanizer—which makes women uncomfortable around him—but he also “looks down on women. That is unacceptable for a presidential bet” (words of former CHR chair Etta Rosales on his rape joke).

Among all the candidates, the top 2 candidates prone to abuse of authority are Binay and Duterte. If God wills that he becomes president and abuse his dictatorial authority, who knows what will happen in the Philippines? Your children won’t be safe in the streets anymore? Our freedoms will be more limited than usual? Our rights neglected? Marcos all over again? You say right now that you can live with that, but wait until it actually happens.

You say “he is not the president we want, but he is the president we need”—was it “need” or “deserve”? Either way, that was the same statement said of the fictional hero Batman of Gotham—replace “hero” with “president”—who is a vigilante too, in essence no different from Binay who thinks he can be exempted from keeping the law. There are other ways to stop corruption—one of them ain’t another form of corruption. (Are you telling me ang mga tao hindi pwede maging corrupt at krimenal, pero si DU30 lang ang pwede? Weh!)

For sure, he is not God-fearing. He is even willing to go to hell for the people. That should say a lot about him—both as a person and as a candidate for president.

So yes, these are why I’m not for DU30. His bad influence, deeds, words, and reputation outweigh whatever good he has as a presidential candidate.

DU30 supporters, your minds may have already been made up; you may no longer be open to other possibilities and options as you're reading this, and it’s safe to expect violent and insensitive comments from you. But I still wish you’d read this with an open mind.

(TBH I’m more inclined to Poe right now, but I still haven’t thought through my decision yet. Look forward to my next blog.)

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