Eighty-five million intelligent and responsible Filipino voters did not vote for Rodrigo Duterte because they saw through him what kind of a man he is. Unfortunately, they were the silent majority who were either too lazy to get up on their feet and vote, or the ones who never registered at allbecaus ethey already gave up on society.
The 16 million who were duped in believing Duterte would bring change to the country were the ones who were actively following his exploits against other presidential candidates, and got personally hooked with his "bad boy" personality because they hated the guts of the current administration bets who made them suffer from all the everyday traffic congestion, LRT/MRT inconveniences and unending struggle against corrupt government practices.
Acting like a thug is like walk in the park for the former Mayor of Davao city. He portrayed the least becoming so he got what he wanted: the love for an underdog by the masses who had enough of the elite and their lavish lifestyles.
However, Duterte has got to get used to the new reality that he's now one of the world leaders. It requires a lot more than just looking tough. It warrants you to be globally appealing and acceptable since common sense dictates to be always polite and never domineering.
Decode. Dissect. Analyze. Do we really need to do these after every speech or statement of Duterte? His supporters would bash every one who speaks negatively about the man, and would sometimes be filled with a lot of curses and hate speech. There have been several cases where friends "unfriend" each other in social media because of differing political views. In any case, defending Duterte from so called devious detractors has been a very aggressive stance of die-hard supporters.
The media boycott he uses as counteraction supposedly against media who keeps on "twisting" his words still does not hold water because he will still give his mind to state owned Presidential Broadcast Staff Radio-Television Malacanang (RTVM) and People's Television (PTV). There's no stopping other media to pick up his statements from those broadcasts.
Here's a tip to Duterte: If you want people to listen, act and speak decently. What you say loses its meaning in all your pomp and preaching. Walk your talk, So if you say "Papatayin ko sila" then you should really mean it and not just to emphasize a point by exaggerating to a point that it becomes pure arrogance.
We hear everything that comes out of his mouth as as downright dirty and ill-mannered. It is not acceptable to accept him as he is. This is not a lovers' relationship between two individuals only. The hands of 100 million people in the country depends on him.
There has been accusations that media has been mind-conditioning people with their own interpretation of the facts to intentionally mislead people mainly to instill fear and hatred towards a specific targets, and to love and adore another for their own agenda. But Duterte admitted himself that he did pay some media for his own selfish motivations of which he benefited.
I wonder why media would want to spark mayhem, especially in social media, by romanticizing and sensationalizing news that might even cause turmoil when taken too offensively or negatively. News should be factual, and if they have to quote somebody's words, it should be, word-per-word if necessary, to avoid misinterpretation. This a point to stress false reporting that distorts the meaning of a statement.
But you don't criticize editorials or the point of views of columnists since they are subjected solely to the personal opinions of the writers. It does not reflect the thoughts of the rest of the media outfit.
The reality on media that there are honest and clean, their opinions are respected while there are also those who are corrupt out of hidden agenda. Another also when they fail to deliver factual headlines and content instead of suggestive one. Such as "Duterte endorses corrupt media killings", "He vows to kill them", "Duterte declares open seasons for murder", I don't know where did they get those headlines, I've watched the two hour press conference and he didn't even endorse, vow, or declare such thing.
Instead of helping the country to be informed, the media itself could be the source of division, misinformation and hatred by giving the wrong notions to the people. There are failures on our end too. However, we should always remind ourselves never to believe just one source. So when most sources have identical commentaries about an issue, then it is safe to arrive at a conclusion after establishing the most logical evaluation of the facts.
Also, Duterte apologists and fanatics should at least acknowledge the things Duterte has done, and acknowledge the wrong in them. That's giving your support with full understanding of the good and the bad of the man. Stop bashing writers who don't share your own thoughts. Each one of us is entitled to our own opinions. You won't gain an alliance if you keep throwing stones at every Duterte detractor.
I had enough arguing about one man. We've been disunited for so long. This country is every Filipino's responsibility. It's about time we figure out how we unite despite our differences.
*Illustration credit to Ayumi Endo