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In touch with the masa

By: Ricky Poca December 22,2015 - 01:33 AM

About a month ago, I was invited to become a member of the Cebu City Police Advisory Council (PAC). Little did I know that I was joining an important organization composed of police officials in the city and community sector representatives. The council aims to foster good relations between the police and the community.

My role gave me and other members a chance to understand the police organization and the life of the police, including their problems and challenges.

I also learned to empathize with the concerns of the police especially in dealing with Cebu City politics. The latest struggle is the proposed transportation budget for policemen which was submitted to the Cebu City Council for approval.

The Sinulog and International Eucharistic Congress take place in January, but sad to say the budget has remained in the City Council’s committee for six weeks with no sign of a go-signal.

There is a move for the police advisory council, which is non-partisan, to appear before the council to lobby for budget approval.

I am amazed by the passion and dedication of our chairman Tinago barangay captain Joel Garganera who steers the advisory council in performing its mandate.

We see the importance of the advisory councils in the region and the city as a partner in the professionalism and development of the police force. The PAC led by Garganera pushes on in spite of some partisan politics that affects its operation.

* * *

It looks like Davao City Mayor Digong Duterte is making waves with his unusual profile as a presidential candidate, defying norms of behavior . He’s fond of using profanity in his speech. He often curses and has admitted publicly that he has two wives and a number of girlfriends. Lately he got the ire of Catholic faithful and church leaders when he turned his cursing on Pope Francis in complaining about the traffic caused by the pope’s visit to the Philippines last January. But the issue died down; Duterte apologized and was able to get away with it.

I caught glimpses of Duterte’s funny side. He’s witty and dishes out good one-liners. There is no question that he is qualified intellectually being a lawyer. He’s articulate.

Despite his shortcomings, he’s attracting new followers every day. He’s popular with the common folk.

If Mar Roxas has a problem connecting with his audience, Duterte is the reverse. He knows how to relate to ordinary people and vice versa.

Many of his supporters identify with him.

Look at the kind of people milling around him. Many of them are unknown, but he playfully allows them to surround him.

He seems to enjoy being interviewed by TV personalities based on his facial expression, although many times he offends the sensibilities of the person doing the interview.

One time he was interviewed by ABS CBN’s Karen Davila. He was asked to describe Davila in one line, and he said she was “delicious”. Davila said she didn’t know whether to be insulted or complimented.

To gender sensitivity advocates, Duterte’s statement is offensive and borders on classic stereotyping of a woman in a male-dominated society. His conduct is the kind of behavior advocates hope to change in society.

I can just imagine the kind of government that Duterte would establish if he wins the presidential race. I fear it may promote more violence against our women. If ever he wins, I hope he changes his world view to one of respect for women as individuals and no longer as a sex object.

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TAGS: Elections, Mar Roxas, politics, Rody Duterte

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