(September 20, 2021. Hello there. How are you today? I have to insert a note here, saying, that I am not “politically motivated” regarding this post. My personal sentiments here is from a person-to-person, or human-to-human, standpoint. That is, I am seeing President Duterte as a person raher than as a politician. Yepper, these are two diferent things where the Philippines (and many other countries) is concerned right now. This post may be polarizing, but I’d rather not remove it because this is true not only for me but for many Filipinos as well, especially those who have experienced the president’s heart ever since he came into the political arena decades ago. Alles gute und viel Spass! Danke!)
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Before being convinced that our president, Duterte, is a monster who condones illegal procedures and careless nonsensical killings by so-called vigilante groups, please give yourself the chance of being further informed from other sources aside from the gossip-like sensationalizing media.
Rodrigo Duterte is an “old” man, an elder in the community, and as such he has the privilege of speaking out his mind. We give this privilege to all our elders. These elders speak according to their personal character, and the younger ones react to them variously. Generally, however, the old people are given respect just because they are old and for no other reason. So if Duterte likes to lace his sentences with harsh expletives then we let him be. That’s who he is and some of us don’t like it, some don’t like it very much, and some don’t care about how he expresses himself. For some of us who understand where he’s coming from, we just chuckle away his nasty expletives. But as we all can see that he knows what he’s talking about and that he has determined what needs to be done, then we give him additional respect.
In this webpage: http://www.gov.ph/tag/sona-2016/ are links to the recent State of the Nation Address that he gave. It was composed around 25 days into his term. It is available in English and Filipino, both official languages of the nation, and in Bisaya, which is his mother tongue and is the most widely understood vernacular compared to the hundred others.
pdf file: State-of-the-Nation-Address-of-Duterte-2016
I have here, by the link above, a copy of the English version. I have put marks and remarks on spots that especially mean something for me or where a tiny annotation is appropriate. Aside from relating how the country fares, the president is projecting a six-year plan. This means that some plans may be done in a year, others until six years, and a few for after he is gone from the political scene. It’s not riddled with numbers and figures so even a high-school student can understand it. I saw him deliver this speech, via internet. While I was reading the transcript I could picture out how he said the particular part. There were parts that I did not hear very clearly and the transcript helped me get them clarified. Still, the president tends to talk in a conversational manner and so there are thoughts that are best conveyed by pauses or tonal emphases or even unfinished sentences, also using body language. So the transcript is not a perfect basis for issues that are too sensitive, so that the only way to get an idea of the issue’s enormity is to both see him speak and read the transcript, and, of course, be cognizant of the context that he is speaking from. There are parts in his talk that elicited chuckles from the audience who have a very good idea of what he is talking about, and of the implication of his being able to “speak” publicly of the issue at all. That is, the president pushed himself onto the boundaries of being respectful but at the same time being open and no-nonsense. Nope, he did not utter a single expletive.
Excursus: The expletives that contained much of “killing you” and all such threats is a CONTEXTUAL way of expressing how grave the situation is, how serious the intention is of solving the problem fast, and how unwavering the drive will be so that all who are accountable will be brought before the law … if these “threats” and expletives are taken out of the context, in the way Duterte says them, then the sensationalizing of these statements is acceptable and valid … but as such and within the recognized context, the Filipinos understand why he is saying such things and because they know that on the other side of the “cleansing” is the intention to rehabilitate the drug victims/addicts/dependents … therefore, contrary to it being summarily called “all-out war against drugs” it’s actually an all-out effort to rehabilitate those who are affected, personal- and family- and community-wise … so, nope, it’s not a “genocide” at all (good grief!!!)
To the question of why are there so many “killings”… were there “mistakes” on the part of the police?— I say, yes, there possibly were, and these cases are being investigated. Were the police “careless”?— no, they have not been. There’s an Operation called Tok-Hang, or Tokhang. It’s name is from the two words “toktok” and “hangyo”. Toktok is an onomatopaeia for the act of knocking on doors of homes and requesting for a conversation. Hangyo pertains to the act of asking for a favor. The police took the time to go to persons’ houses, those who are suspected of participating in the drug related problems, and asked them to surrender to the authorities for the purpose of consequent investigation. Moreover, prior to the president’s term and while he was still campaigning for the office, he had repeatedly warned the nation that he will give priority to solving the drug problem. So, why are there so many “killings”?—one: when a police officer is doing an apprehension and the suspect fights back then the police officer has to defend his life. Everybody knows this.—two: the chain-of-drug-supply renders the more dispensable ones as fodder to the effort of not-be-traced-back-to-the-source <<<any durglord does this and blames it on the police or the government. Why do I answer this way? <<< I get my information from the televised hearings of the Commission on Human Rights; I watch/listen to the press releases via the PTV4 station (non-commercial government media, here: https://www.youtube.com/user/RTVMalacanang/videos ); I watch/listen to the interviews that journalists continuously engage in with the president.
Does the president intend to alienate all foreign nations? Nope. Look especially at page 29 of the attached pdf-file, the SONA. He is asking for their help, in fact. Is the president a deranged narcissistic macho-man? Nope. He acts the way a self-confident non-academic non-elitist self-effacing person-of-the-street Filipino male does with added deadpan effects and who is not shy about flirting with women — but he is humble and respectful and non-pretentious. How do I know?<< I hear him and I see him and I can tell, me as a Filipino who lives in that culture.
Will he keep all his promises and execute all his plans? Time can tell. Will he make mistakes? He’s not cowarded by the possibility. Is he and his cabinet doing their best? Yes, they are. Do the Filipinos understand what he is doing? Yes, they do. (The Commission on Human Rights hearings, with the senators, allowed the senators to express their support for the efforts of the police. The videos can be accessed here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8f9L8CPuxtvALODAlXvG5w/videos ) Are the Filipinos hopeful about this president? Yes, we are. ….But what about the killings????—this is a very tough question, yes, very disturbing, yes, but what about the millions of lives destroyed and is being destroyed by the illegal-drug industry that is choking the families in the neighborhoods? But do I mean to say that we have to kill in order to save? Nope, I don’t mean that and I don’t like that, and the president and the nation agree with me … so??? … (((we have to ask the collective opinions of ethics, anthropology, sociology, history, economics, philosophy, … ))) >>> Come and live in the Philippines so that you can help me talk about this issue with more clarity.
I wish you all robust health and a hopeful disposition.