NO amount of incendiary verbiages spiced with twisted statistics that come from the moribund political opposition and foreign interlopers can bring down the Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte. You can fault him for his expletives but that actually defines his hatred against crime, corruption and the domineering oligarchy that controls the economy and government.
It is his plain, direct and unfashionable way of delivering a message to leaders of nations that had long considered the Philippines its fiefdom. Remember his repartee to former US Pres. Barrack Obama’s caution to Duterte on human rights violations: “you son of a whore”?. That same year China rolled out the red carpet for Duterte’s visit to Beijing. That same year, Vladimir Putin took notice of the Philippine leader. The western countries did not like the language of Duterte but when Donald Trump took over from Obama a bond of friendship between the two developed. Trump has only praises for Duterte especially in the latter’s unrelenting campaign against drugs.
On the heels of the State of the Nation Address, all of the anti-Duterte forces came out in drove. They came prepared. A maritime accident involving two fishing vessels and promptly they prod the President to condemn the incident and brazenly suggests that the mutual defense treaty between the US and RP be invoked. Stonewalling the fact that ex-Pres. Noynoy Aquino and his Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert del Rosario virtually gave away the Scarborough shoal to China, the critics, Del Rosario included, want Duterte to reclaim the islands which they gave up out of fear. They want to go to war and yet lost no time to rally in the streets to condemn the revival of ROTC!
Even a retinue of men and women in religious habits joined the fray in shaming the country in the world community by resorting to satanic incantations raining holy water in congress gates. Meantime, the Commission on Human Rights kept mum over the preposterous figure of 27,000 victims of the so-called extra-judicial killings conjured by foreign-funded media organizations. They celebrated with orgasmic delight when UNCHR through Iceland, a frozen country with a population equal to a barangay in the Philippines, sponsored a resolution to probe the EJK statistics which UNCHR Agnes Callamard and Omidyar-funded Ma. Ressa had audaciously conjured.
Except for calling the challenge of his critics to invoke the mutual defense treaty that expectedly fallen on deaf ears, Duterte needlessly responds to the opposition sound bites that are bereft of any legal foundations or sanity. In an attempt to score points after a humiliating defeat in the just concluded senatorial race, Liberal Party candidate Chel Diokno filed a Writ of Kalikasan as a legal remedy to protect what belongs to the Philippine environment. He impleaded President Duterte using fishermen who he claimed were his witnesses. The Supreme Court called his attention and in effect asked him why Duterte and why not his predecessors. Later the fishermen came out with a denial that they never talked to Diokno and that they had nothing to do with his agenda.
Amidst the brouhaha, the Social Weather Station revealed in its latest survey that 80% of Filipinos are satisfied with the performance of Duterte. Pulse Asia just came up with the President’s Trust rating of 85 percent.
On the economic front, the United Nations expects the Philippine economy to grow to a conservative 6.5% driven by the "Build, Build, Build" program implementation and expenditure frenzy. The inflation level which hit the rafters towards the end of 2018 has dramatically decelerated. Standard & Poors credit rating of the Philippines is steady at bbb+ which simply mean ‘investment grade’. Oxford Economics, on the other hand, placed the Philippines second among the top 10 countries in Asia with the fastest-growing emerging market economies. If we consider, therefore, the indubitable proposition that Asia will dominate the global economy in the next decade, Philippines and Filipinos definitely will have their rightful place in the sun.
Digong must have done something good.