Try it. Sing that song from the Sound of Music and substitute “Maria” with “Duterte”. Except for the “girl” and “curler’ reference everything else seems appropriate. How indeed do you solve a problem like Duterte?
Here we were led by the Liberal Party and the Catholic Church, marching merrily as a nation toward perdition and mediocrity when this upstart from down there turns everything on its head. Mar Roxas didn’t know what hit him, Grace Poe was left to her graces and Jojo Binay’s future turned dark. It was a defining moment in Philippine politics. It was a break in traditional politics brought about by a festering clamor for change that had been harbored for years by the Filipino people.
But why is Duterte a problem? Duterte is a problem because he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about the Presidency. In the grand scheme of things and the way they existed and worked out before Duterte, the President was supposed to be running scared, kowtowing to different interests. He (or she) was expected to be scared of the press. He was supposed to dance to the tune of the Catholic Church. He was supposed to be at the service of the Oligarchs who had contributed to his campaign. Finally, he was supposed to be at the beck and call of the United States.
All these were essential to staying in power. All these any President he had to do to remain President of the country. All these led to decisions and actions that prioritized others above the citizens of this country and generally screwed up the Philippines over these past decades. But Duterte doesn’t care about the Presidency. He has said time and again that he is ready to step down and be replaced. And so he is a problem. He is a problem to those who are used to pulling the strings: The Press, the Church, the Oligarchs and the United States. In more ways than one, he is a peaceful revolution against the status quo that happened before we even realized it.
How do they now solve a problem like Duterte? That is their problem. Perhaps setting aside selfish interests and greed for power, doing what is right and doing what is good for the Filipino people would be a great way to start. The man is not without his faults but as long as his heart is where it should be — Not where is balls are that he becomes a maniac (perhaps too old for that), Not where his stomach is to become greedy and Not where is brain is to become stupid then there is no way but up for the Filipino people.