What started as a hard hitting, anti-establishment, revolution pushing political style has become an absolute bore. The Punisher is resembling misguided foghorn, rather than a strong man President.
The vision remains grand, but the action lags by a long way. The bigger the pronouncements the more the incompetency bubbles to the surface, for those who care to look.
Unless you are involved in drugs, you will avoid anything that resembles a bite to go with the bark. Even then your chances are still pretty good! The selective enforcement of the drugs policy is dripping with inconsistency and irony and you can still get away with things if you stay on the good side of the right people.
In the last month alone, here is just a sample if the big, bold threats:
- Threatens drug dealers to eat their cell phones in Bilibid
- Threatens to bomb indigenous schools
- Threatens to abolish the CHR
- Threatens to abolish the Office of the Ombudsman
- Threatens to tax mining companies to death
- Threatens newspaper owners (again)
- Let’s not forget the threat to carpet bomb Marawi and end the conflict in three days that we heard a few weeks before that
It seems the only person that he will not threaten is Xi Jinping…. You know, the one who is aggressively pushing into Philippines territory. Makes sense so far?
The threats are later dismissed as jokes, or the result of frustration. All the usual garbage that attempts to make his words more palatable to anyone with half a brain.
None of this even hints at some useful productive dialogue that would solve the problems that he is berating.
It doesn’t stop at the threats though. His big mouth contradicts his actions in more ways that could possibly fit into this post. Here is again a small sample just form the last few weeks:
- Calls the US lousy, but is their humble friend (double talk anyone?)
- The drug problem cannot be solved in a single term (who would ever think that it could? Oh yeah…)
- Free tuition is now law (not one cent is available to pay for it)
- One whiff of corruption, you’re out! (yet no action on significant BOC allegations, or drug allegations against his son)
- Striking a deal with China to export more OFWs to work as house help
People get used to his big mouth, but what does that mean for everyone? Does it mean that they stopped listening? Or that they just love the showmanship? By the time one would expect results to be shown there is another carrot being dangled in front of them and they forget the original promise.
I think it is the latter. As a result his presidency will be one with a lot of noise, but when it is examined in terms of tangible achievements it will be few.
Yes, he will get things done. But so would have any other candidate that could have been elected.
If you look at the measure of success as achievements vs a benchmark for what you would consider average progress, it may not look impressive at all. I think it will be an underwhelming result. Even if the Build, Build, Build program goes well.
Gains in some areas will be balanced by losses in others. We have already seen a slow down in the growth of the BPO sector. An industry that employs well over a million Filipinos. This survives on foreign money coming into the country, and it almost entirely comes from countries that Duterte insults on a regular basis.
Most companies will overlook the insults if it is still positive for their bottom line. The biggest threat to profitability is a volatile political environment. Given that even Duterte doesn’t know what he will do next, it is causing a lot of companies to put things on hold.
That is at least one major source of employment, and foreign investment that has disappeared into thin air for the sole reason that Duterte is a volatile and unpredictable. Not to mention an asshole without any real reason to be.
He claims that We don’t need it. We will survive on our own. Even if we have to go hungry, we will be ok.
And therein lays the disadvantage for his supporters. He has no hesitation in putting his vision ahead of their suffering.
No matter how much he says he loves his country, and that he will die for his country. Its all just hot air.
I have no doubt that he does want a better future for the Philippines. But he only wants it his way.
He wants to make the bold pronouncements.
He wants to be in a position where what he says, goes.
He wants the control.
But he doesn’t have it. He has a mouth, which more and more is just ignored after a few headlines have been written.
It makes for entertaining reading, but begins to sound like a soap opera that has run out of new story ideas. The sad part is, it hurts people. His own people. The one he claims to care so deeply about.
Maybe he does, but they will always finish a distant second to his ego.
As for his bite, well the Parojinog’s found out it’s not always just hot air.