Duterte Isn’t the Answer Because the Question Is Not Who. It’s What.

For full disclosure, there’s a good chance I will be denouncing my Filipino citizenship soon. I submitted an application to be naturalized as American, and I’m awaiting the callback. I’m still “fully-pino” for about 2 months and here’s my view on the recent elections.

We just elected a president known to be “The Punisher,” as he serves criminals what they are due, no matter who they are. This is new to the Philippines. We are used to a corrupt government that accommodates drug lords with jacuzzis in their cells. But I’m convinced that what we need in the Philippines is not a president-elect who will suppress crime in 3–6 months. What we need more of is confidence.

Lately, the weather has been great, and I’ve been riding my bike more than driving on the busy streets of Charlotte. I mostly bike on the designated lanes, but when that ends, I have to merge into the main roads. The confidence I have that I won’t get hit by cars going 60 on a 35mph road, drops slightly. My safety is now in the hands of complete strangers, but that’s not enough motivation to get me off the road.

That’s in Charlotte, the friendliest city I’ve lived in. Have you been on the streets of India or the Philippines?

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Have people in third world countries unknowingly developed telepathy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVUDFizBLxw

To say that trust is a vital part of society is an understatement. We drive to work every day, and we feel it’s already a given that everyone will stay in their lane. Why?

For one, we’re creatures with mini-computers in our heads; we know the chance of us getting into an accident is small, just by considering the amount of accidents we see. The second reason is the trust we’ve been forced to develop. To thrive, communities need this or else, no one would drive to work anymore.

Back to the Philippines…

First of all, I’m relieved to see the dwindling amount of friends arguing over their presidential candidates on Facebook. While I think we have a great president-elect, I believe we possess something even better: confidence in ourselves and in effect, in the President we elected. We haven’t had this amount of trust in a president in a while.

How many presidents have we elected and tried to impeach? The answer is nearly half of them. I worry about this. I already see people making something out of this statement from the news:

Two days ago, Duterte clarified that his promise was he would “suppress” crime and drugs, not stop them completely.

I really wish complaints about that clarification aren’t from Duterte supporters. An article about feeling pressured to live up to your promises should be a good thing.

My hope is that we don’t lose faith when we feel crime and drugs are still around in 3–6 months. Rebuilding a nation takes time and most importantly, that takes a whole country’s participation— not just the president’s. When we believe we can make a difference, it’s usually easier to make that difference. Plus, we’ve been told worse lies.

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