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Dealing with Digong

By: Jobers R. Bersales June 08,2016 - 09:28 PM

There are two ways to deal with incoming president Rodrigo Duterte: accept him for what he is or assail and lambast him to high heavens.

The turncoats in the Liberal Party, who only a few weeks ago made all kinds of accusations and created all types of doomsday scenarios (PNoy even likened him to Hitler, remember?), are now scurrying to his side like rats abandoning a sinking ship. They have accepted that their survival rests on eating the balimbing fruit.

Even Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), has now foisted the flag of silence rather than pursue the confrontational stance that he and his erstwhile predecessor in Dagupan Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz had early on pursued.

Every cuss word, every misstep, every misquote is grabbed by just about anyone who wants to bring Pres. Duterte down even before he has even started the much-promised change.

I am told that those in the know, those closest to Pres. Duterte, however, are just smiling to themselves at the reaction coming out in the media amid all the things that Duterte has spewed out.

Those who know him up close and personal paint a different picture of Digong: very funny, totally disarming, so informal, intensely personal, but also brutally frank and very direct to the point. He is like a kanto boy complete with street lingo who doesn’t give a heck about niceties and formalities.

I am told, for example, that he has no problems with the Roman Catholic hierarchy in Davao because the two parties have a go-between who talks to him directly about the hierarchy’s issues and concerns, rather than run to media immediately to get his attention. I would not be surprised that this same go-between advised the archbishops to keep quiet and bring their concerns directly to the guy rather than assail and lambast him even if he has not even sat on the throne yet.

It is clear from those who have worked with Pres. Duterte that confronting him in such forum as the newspapers or television will do no good. The better thing is to go to Davao (for now) and present your case and laugh with him as he dishes out jokes to make you feel comfortable and at ease.

Never mind the expletives and cuss words in between. That is how the guy loosens up. Although I would certainly recommend someone to constantly remind him to slowly let go of this penchant to say the ‘f’ word in his speeches.

That will probably take some time given a long period of doing this.

After all, only those of us in the middle class and those above us get squeamish and aghast when we hear these cusswords dished out as if part of normal conversation. The lower classes are not bothered at all. They want a stable job, food on the table, a house of their own and the best school for their kids. And like Digong, they have no time for the niceties that we have built as a bubble around us in this cruel world.

The better to get a president that exposes hypocrisy head on than one that pretends to fight for the poor but causes the rich to enrich themselves further. Did we not go through many presidencies like that?

There was this charisma, a disarming yet frank manner in Digong, packaged together with those expletives, that catapulted him to the presidency. And while we need more than charm to run this country out of the rut of corruption, maldevelopment, criminality, we do need him to expose those hypocrites in this country who make paeans to the poor but do nothing to get them out of the rut they are in. Those who, in election after presidential election, run to the poor for their votes only to fail intentionally to pull them out of their dark, despairing hole of hunger and misery.

At the end of the day, I would rather have a president who spews cusswords like lava but actively wields the sword against all this corruption in government and criminality in society to build a better nation than a sanitized president who says nice things that we want to hear, blindly fooling ourselves that one day we will be better.

While we must at the same time remain vigilant that we do not lose sight of the noble goals for this country, we must nonetheless accept and support therefore the president that we will have for the next six years. Even if it means hearing more cusswords than we normally do.

Hypocrites beware!

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TAGS: Duterte, election, Pnoy, politics, President, Rodrigo Duterte

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