Mayor Rodrigo Duterte: A postscript!
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2015 - 10:00am

Looking at my Facebook pages of the many friends who were rooting for Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to ran for President and ended up bitterly disappointed when he announced last Monday that he was no longer seeking the Presidency, the thought that crossed my mind was you may have fooled many of your followers, but you couldn’t fool me! I have already written this story here before and for the record, I will repeat it again.

Last Jan. 29, 2015, I accompanied the members of the National Transformation Council (NTC) for a meeting with labor leader Atty. Democrito Mendoza in his office at the Mariner’s Court in the Alu-Vimomtu Compound in Cebu City and later that evening, we had dinner at the Cebu Country Club (CCC) with Arch. Ramon Argüelles and Arch. Emeritus of Davao Fernando Capalla and the other NTC members when I remembered that at the same time, I had an invitation by my good friend, businessman Douglas Luym to meet with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Sure enough, I went to the other side of the CCC and some 60 plus businessmen from Cebu were waiting for the Davao City Mayor to arrive. When he got into the club, we were introduced to Mayor Duterte who was with my good friends Jess Dureza and former DOTC Sec. Pantaleon Alvarez under then Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (PGMA). There he was the great mayor from Davao City and he had a story to tell us his fellow Cebuanos.

Mayor Duterte talked for nearly 45 minutes giving us horror stories of the corruption of Imperial Manila and that if he is elected President, he would kill all the corrupt and change the political landscape and rid it with the corrupt and the damn. It was music to the ears of many Cebuano businessmen who for five years have only gotten frustrated by the empty promises of Daang Matuwid. Mayor Duterte talked about the shift to a Federal form of government…. but that’s just about what he spoke about Federalism.

When the question and answer began, Mr. Luym got the microphone and asked if anyone wanted to ask questions. There was only silence. Mayor Duterte had a daunting presence and no one dared to cross him, much less intimidate him with a question. So I raised my hand and asked the Davao City Mayor, “What are his chances of winning in an era of the PCOS Tikas machines?” Mayor Duterte looked at me in the eye and said that he knew about the PCOS machines and went on talking about killing the corrupt for another 30 minutes without explaining about the PCOS machines or giving us some details about his type of Federal government.

At the end of his 30-minute talk about my question, Mayor Duterte made a categorical statement, which rang bells in my ears when he said, “DILG Secretary Mar Roxas is a good friend of mine, so if he would ran for President, I will not seek the Presidency.” Later, Mr. Luym asked me, what I thought of Mayor Duterte? I reminded Mr. Luym of the Mayor’s last statement and told him, “Mayor Duterte is only getting businessmen to listen to him on behalf of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas. Then before you know it, he will drop his campaign and ask his friends to support Mar Roxas instead.”

I asked Mr. Luym that if he was requested by Mar Roxas to meet with Cebu businessmen, do you think he would have been able to gather over 60 businessmen at the country club? He agreed. But since they were meeting with Duterte, many businessmen showed up. That’s the whole story of the short and colorful campaign of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. He did come back to Cebu several times in the past few months and I gathered that he was being pushed by former Cebu Governor Emilio “Lito” Osmeña.

I’m sure that many people who live south of Luzon are totally disappointed or even devastated that Mayor Duterte decided to call it quits even before the official campaign had began. After all, he was the bright light in our dark political firmament where he offered a genuine change in our present rotten crop of corrupt politicians. For sure, he leaves a deep void especially for the people living in the south… and those who have a genuine hate of Imperial Manila’s greed.

Last week, I read the principles of Subsidiarity from the Compendium of the Social Doctrines of the Catholic Church and it clearly opposes a centralized form of government. Here’s an excerpt that I got. “The principle of subsidiarity is “opposed to certain forms of centralization, bureaucratization and welfare assistance” and to the unjustified and excessive presence of the State in public mechanism. “By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than concern for serving their clients, which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending.” With Mayor Duterte gone, now this country needs a new champion for Federalism.

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