I remember the campaign days when people worshipped President Duterte, saying things like “he’s so great” and “he’s so powerful” and “he’s so brave”. People called out for him because people think he’s strong and no one can go against him. They say he’s the kind of leader our country needs.
During his campaigns, he promised a lot of things. Like planting a flag in Philippine territories, to assert our claims over it and to protect it from those who want to take over it; shortening travel time by solving the longstanding traffic problems in Metro Manila; building infrastructures to boost the economy; and perhaps most important of all, healing the hearts of families who have had to endure separation for the smallest chance of having better lives. These are all of the reasons for why sixteen million Filipinos chose him to be their President.
So far he hasn’t gone to the Shoals in his jetski, and has in fact been making friends with China. Traffic in Manila is still the same, it will take you hours to get anywhere, while enduring the heat and the sweat and the bad commute. The government has infrastructure projects but they all come with baggage from Chinese loans. OFWs still can’t come home because they still don’t have prospects here.
Just recently, the President went on a state visit to a country with the most number of OFWs in death row. He also promised to help them out of their sentences and bring them back to the Philippines alive. But in the end, there was nothing done for them.
This is becoming unacceptable. A President should at least assure his people of his intentions to make good on his promises, because these are the reasons the people voted for him. But between praising China, cursing during speeches, and making very terrible jokes, fulfilling his promises to the people seems to be the least of his priorities.
Is he a president who cares for us Filipinos? Maybe. Some evidence would be greatly appreciated. Nothing is more frightening than a president who doesn’t care for his country and its people.
But so far, so bad.