Perhaps we really need a strongman as president
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - May 11, 2018 - 12:00am

According to the late Singapore president Lee Kuan Yew, and seconded by Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad, Asians really need a strong leader, a benevolent dictator, a monarch with a conscience. Lee even told president Marcos in the mid-seventies that Filipinos need discipline, not too much democracy. The Americans taught our forefathers like Quezon, Osmeña, and Roxas that what matters most are freedom, independence, and individual liberties. Had the Japanese won World War II, we would have imbibed the Japanese ways of respect for authority, obedience to laws, and love of country. Perhaps Filipinos really need a strong leader who does not care whether we love him or hate him as long as we become good citizens. Yes, perhaps we do need leaders like Marcos (minus the alleged corruption), FVR (minus the alleged, never mind), and President Duterte (minus the cursing).

We should be happy Duterte appeared on the cover of Time magazine along with Vladimir Putin and some not-too-pleasant characters. That means being a strongman sells. We do not need a leader like PNoy who was very soft. PNoy might have been honest like his mom, but honesty was not enough. We do not need a leader like Cory Aquino who might have been clean herself, but surrounded herself with vultures masquerading as angels. We do not need a leader like Erap who put all his Ateneo classmates in the Cabinet and did not watch them just as Duterte is watching the Bedans and Lex Talliones members.

We need a man like Duterte who does not put affection for fraternity brods before national interest. A strong leader who has the guts to stand up to the Americans and tell them to go to hell. A leader brave enough to reject aid from the European Union with too many strings attached. A president who has the guts to ban deployment to Kuwait just to make a strong political statement after the murder of a Filipina maid there. A strongman who has the guts to fight and defeat terrorists in Marawi, unlike PNoy who allowed his special forces to be massacred in Mamasapano. A leader who has the guts to tell the CPP/NPA/NDF to go fly a kite.

Filipinos need a strong leader because we need discipline. We have destroyed our habitat, polluted our rivers, denuded our forests, squandered our marine resources. We throw garbage anywhere, spit and urinate anywhere, and do not care about sanitation at all. We don’t follow traffic rules, and have no basic respect for authority. We need a leader who will instill fear in us so that we adhere to what is right, a president who will arrest us and prosecute us if we commit crimes, a leader who does not care about popularity as long as his message is understood. We do not need a president who speaks a very high-sounding Tagalog like Balagtas but who hides his true motives in prose and poesy. We need a leader who calls a spade a spade.

Perhaps Duterte is the leader Filipinos need at this point in our history.

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