‘Vulgarity is corruption’

FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas - The Philippine Star

Will Rodrigo Duterte make a good Philippine president?

Yes,  his avid disciples will tell you. And they’re so glad he has agreed to run for the highest position in the land in next May’s presidential election.

No, exclaim  others, and I’ll tell you why.

Duterte is a local hero believed to save the country from the dragon (of corruption and criminality),  as Pied Piper driving four-legged rats to murky waters.

Davao  City, of which he was mayor several times,  is bandied about as one of the most livable places in Southeast Asia for its enviable peace and order program which paves the way for business and economic growth.

The Word Wildlife Foundation (WWF), in its study titled “Business Risk Management,” claims that many businesses are relocating to the southern  city where they feel safe and secure. The study also showed that the city logged more than 692,000 new inhabitants in a 20-year period, the highest number of all major cities in the country outside of Metro Manila.

It has also registered the highest population growth rate at 2.8 percent – a figure not pleasing, though, to reproductive health advocates who want the growth rate to slow down nationwide.  But Davaoenos say the new migrants and locals procreate and raise families with abandon on account of the city’s safe environment.

A colleague told us at the Bulong Pulungan media forum that when he was in the city a few days ago, he felt free and secure walking down the streets at night  because of the absence of  pickpockets and  muggers. So unlike Manila where one has to clutch at one’s handbag and dear life in fear of losing them in the streets, the MRT, even inside churches.

The secret for Davao’s  parasidiacal environment is Duterte, whose dictatorial legacy his daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio who has also served as mayor,  carried on, like when she punched a city employee in the face  for not following her orders. A recent Pulse Asia survey, according to his followers, shows that Duterte has “electrified the air, and has emerged as the overwhelming choice of Metro Manilans for president.”

How he will make the whole country a peaceful, crime-free land, will be more realizable with the cooperation of his vice-presidential running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who we still have to verify,  is said to have also successfully made Taguig City another Davao City.

The crime-efficiency solution of Davao City is attributed to the tough-talking city leader’s annihilatory  (some people would call unorthodox) problem-solving method  and his appropriating P900 million annually, or about a fifth of the city’s annual budget, to bankroll its peace and order program.

 But why do others are not  impressed by this guy and will not vote for him?

Consider the media reports about him.

He boasted of killing kidnappers in the city. He said shortly after assuming his post as mayor, kidnappers struck in the city. They kidnapped a Chinese girl, they brought her to another province, repeatedly raped her then returned her where they picked her up. Said Duterte: “These monkeys even had the victim cook for them,  ate the food. When they came down, I killed them all. I really executed them. I said, ‘You mother*****rs.’ This is the good and beautiful killing, I even copied the pose of Fernando Poe.”  He carried the kidnappers to their car, opened the gas tank and set the car on fire. “I’m doing this for everybody, to the criminals and to the bad elements, and to those who continue to oppress the Filipino people.”

We all know about a former president who had (and still has, we are told), kept a number of mistresses. Duterte is no different, and boasts his being a bigamist. In Taguig, “Digong,” as he is called, spoke of not only having two wives, but of two girlfriends, as well. When he was younger, the 70-year-old presidential aspirant told his listeners at a MAD for Change event  at the McKinley West Open Field in Taguig, he would spend the whole night with his girlfriends, but since he had grown older, he could spend only a ‘short time’ with them.”

He told his audience, “They are telling me that they heard I am a womanizer. That is true. That is very true.”  But he added that even if he was a known ladies’ man he did not use government money to support his women, but his own money. He does not let them live in posh condominium units but just in boarding houses worth P1,500 a month. The younger one of his mistresses once asked him for a car, but he said no, as his allowance would only allow her to use a taxi.

Duterte relishes using cuss words. One observer said, “It is unsettling enough to hear a public official spew away curses in  public as if it is no man’s business; but it is doubly disturbing that those around him – even a vice-presidential hopeful – have suddenly found acceptable Duterte’s heavy use of profanity.”

What had gone viral was his throwing expletives at, of all people, Pope Francis. When he got stuck in a traffic jam during  the pope’s visit, he said, “Pope, pu*******ka, umuwi ka na. ‘Wag ka nang magbisita dito.” (Pope,  you SOB, go home. Don’t visit us anymore.”

If his every curse-laden pronouncements would be taken at face value, the Philippines faces the danger of being thrown back to the violent times of the Wild, Wild West where his crusade against criminality could tailspin into a society with rabid, blood thirsty vigilants.

There could be anarchy if Duterte becomes president. What is there to step our citizens  from taking the law into their own hands? In a talk with media men in Davao, he rejected calls for him to abandon his pro-death stance and lower tax rates.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was incensed when Duterte cursed Pope Francis. Archbishop Socrates Villegas said, “ Vulgarity is a form of  corruption. . . When we find vulgarity funny, we have really become beastly and barbaric as a people. When a revered and loved and admired man like Pope Francis is cursed by a political candidate and the audience laughs, I can only bow my head and grieve in great shame. My countrymen have gone to the dregs.”

Villegas said corruption is not limited to stealing public money. “Corruption, like a monster, is a devil with many faces. Killing people is corruption. Killing is  a crime and a sin whether it is done by criminals or public officials no matter what the intention. Adultery is corruption. It makes married love cheap and uses people for pleasure. Adultery  corrupts family, it destroys children and victimizes the weak.”

Duterte or not?

The choice is yours.

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