Accessible president

By: Editorial May 20,2016 - 09:14 PM

Cartoon for_21MAY2016_SATURDAY_renelevera_DUTERTE

Two columns by Philippine Daily Inquirer columnists Randy David and former Makati Business Club president Guillermo Luz not only helped explain why presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte won the elections, but also reiterated the simple aspirations and expectations of Filipinos from their government.

In his column, David described Duterte as being “the mayor of 100 million Filipinos.” That’s what the Filipino people want for now, not someone highborn like Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas, or someone whose citizenship remains in doubt despite a Supreme Court ruling like Sen. Grace Poe.

There’s outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay whose executive experience is unquestioned due to his and his family’s reign in Makati City, but the man is saddled with corruption cases which are now being pursued by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.

As “mayor” to 109 million Filipinos, Duterte can easily relate with his constituents minus the cordon sanitaire that usually accompanies his predecessors, including outgoing President Benigno Aquino III who, despite calling the Filipino people his “boss”, has been perceived as vindictive against political enemies and unsupportive of legislation like the Freedom of Information Act and the abolition of the pork barrel.

Though the country is not without concern for the ongoing dispute with China over the Spratlys, Filipinos would prefer that their president be there for them, a physical presence that can reach out to them in their hour of direst need, not a leader who will deign to visit them only after his subalterns have cleared the way.

That’s what Filipinos want from their leader, and their simple aspirations have again been enumerated in the “Ambisyon 2040”, a national government plan mentioned in Luz’s column. As surveyed and spelled out by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the Filipinos who were asked what they aspire for mentioned that they only wanted to live a comfortable life, not a life of wealth and privilege.

In voting for Duterte, the Filipinos have shown their intolerance and impatience of government neglect and incompetence. The Aquino administration’s tenure has been focused on the war against corruption, something that Filipinos embraced by voting the former senator to the presidency.

Despite the massive rallies against the pork barrel corruption, public perception of the Aquino administration’s inroads against corruption has been positive, and this a Duterte presidency would like to sustain.

Now Filipinos want more decisive action and demand immediate results, something the Aquino administration, through its anointed successor, has failed to deliver and which Duterte, an outsider and the first Mindanaoan leader at that, promised that he could and more.

In voting for Duterte, Filipinos wanted someone whom they know can be hands on, not someone who looks and acts to be hands and project himself to be such. Now that he has all but secured the presidency, Duterte must show that he can deliver as promised and do more.

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TAGS: accessible, Aquino, Grace Poe, Guillermo Luz, Makati Business Club, Philippines, President, Rodrigo Duterte

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