Nothing is permanent, so it is said. Only change. Change that the malcontent and the suffering demand. Change for the better. Change for the common good. Change for life.
Duterte won the Philippine vote by six million plus on the strenght of his two promises: he will eradicate corruption, he will stop the drug menace. Before he even took his oath of office, dead bodies of supposed to be drug pushers started piling up. A month after his swearing in, the condemnation of killings without due process or extra judicial killings(EJK) was voiced out. The domestic media and the international press exposed Duterte’s endorsement of a “killing fields”. Now the uproar is full blown. The protesters want Duterte out, nothing less. Meanwhile, the enormity of the drug menace is just starting to show. Thousands of government officials and police are involved in the drug trade. The number of drug addicts is estimated to be 4 million. There is a shabu factory in almost every region. Dead bodies show up everyday while jails are overcrowded and there is still no end in sight. Duterte promised that in 6 months or less, he would have stopped the drug menace. He has not. He asked for extension while his opponents want his resignation “pronto” for a failed promise. The international community keeps howling Duterte’s “killing” tactics will fail as it has failed all over the world. Decriminalize drugs, accept defeat. That is the only solution.
So what about the people who gave him the mandate to eradicate drugs, to eradicate corruption?
The taxi driver said if Duterte is ousted, there will be blood on the streets. The tourist guide who loves his country with all his might said, Duterte is the only president he knows who does what he said he will. That he will fight for him because he as a Filipino, is not the same belittled and exploited citizen of yore. That with Duterte, he has a voice. The waitress said, she just loves him. That he works for her and in him she has hope.
Duterte’s mouth, his exaggerations of killings, his irreverence towards the church, his “up yours” to the international community, the UN and the US, his lambasting of the human rights groups, the civil society and traditional politicians created more than enough enemies to last a lifetime. They want him out. They are plotting for his overthrow. It seems though that he just does not care. Call it arrogance, braggadocio, foolhardiness or bravery. At 70 years old and looking into the sunset of his life and the legacy he will leave behind, he does not give a damn. No he does not.
It is wished that his age will make him mellow as it should. That to be firm does not mean cursing everybody to high heavens. That to eliminate crime does not necessarily mean always killing the criminal. That to impose the law, one should have measured words and a big stick rather than a foul mouth. That loving the Philippines and the Filipinos does not mean hating everybody else. That to be president is to be a statesman, a father to all Filipinos, supporters and opponents alike.
To change, one must be given a chance. To fulfill promises, one must be afforded time. 73% of Filipinos approve of Duterte even if the rest of the world does not. He has said time and again that his covenant is with the Filipino people. That he will pursue what he promised even if that will cost him his life and the presidency itself.
Change at all cost. No holds barred. May such be for deliverance.