Duterte’s words and actions
In his campaign visit to Cebu City over the weekend, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte asked city residents and visitors not to judge him by his words but by what he stands for.
Unfortunately for this popular local executive, whose pedigree for the country’s top post was enhanced by support from Mindanao and even from nationally elected government officials, every presidential candidate is seen and cross-examined through the looking glass, which means everything he ever says or does will be meticulously assessed like a fine-toothed comb.
As far as words go, his propensity for cursing and hurling invectives will be taken against him especially when it comes to people like Pope Francis, who commands the devotion of the country’s Catholic faithful.
Whether or not he goes to Church, Catholic or otherwise, is beside the point. The mayor was quoted in both TV and radio as having cursed Pope Francis for causing the monstrous traffic jam in Manila during the pontiff’s visit to the country last year.
As to whether or not Duterte will drop by for the Sinulog celebration, one can only speculate, but he may not be able to visit Cebu City for the International Eucharistic Congress (IEC) which is good not only for him but for the thousands of delegates to the event, lest he unleashes another flood of invectives about the traffic congestion.
In defending his penchant for cursing, the Davao City mayor said he merely reflects on the pain and anguish experienced by every Filipino during tragedy or calamity brought about by natural or man-made causes, particularly those caused by corruption.
There may be some truth to Duterte’s claim, but everyone, regardless of nationality or religious beliefs, falters and curses to the high heavens whenever tragedy or misfortune befalls. And oftentimes one doesn’t need other people doing the cursing for him or her.
The public wants solutions and actions, and Duterte is like the other politicians and candidates who promise to do just that if elected. The mayor promised that he will eliminate criminality and drug menace in his first six months in office and will employ both the military and the police to do so.
Aside from being impossible, it won’t be surprising if Duterte’s campaign will be a bloodbath, with him making good on his word that dead bodies will be floating in Manila Bay or in some other bodies of water.
Question is, will this encourage a Wild West-type of climate that will scare off visitors and invite global condemnation from the likes of Amnesty International?
In truth, the voter cannot and should not make a distinction when it comes to Duterte’s words and actions. For it is his words and actions that will determine for voters if he is fit to serve the Filipino people for the next six years.
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