What makes the president still very popular?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - July 14, 2019 - 12:00am

The International Human Rights community continues its attacks against President Duterte's relentless war against drugs. And yet, in the eyes of the global community, our country has risen to 24th place among the world's top places to work in. More importantly, President's Duterte's approval rating has reached an unprecedented level of 80%.

Unlike other trapos, Duterte doesn’t give a damn about popularity ratings. He is unorthodox, totally different. The lawyers have a word about one who is different from the rest, “sui generis,” or one of a kind. The most distinctive mark of Duterte is that he doesn’t care if people love or hate him for what he thinks, says, and does. If he thinks that he should do it he will, regardless of what his advisers would say. He has done many things never been done by all his predecessors, from Aguinaldo to Noynoy Aquino.

Duterte has said a number of things never been uttered by any president, he blurts out expletives than not even the temperamental Manuel L. Quezon ever said in public. He doesn’t care about tomorrow or give a damn how history will judge him. He has work to do, he will continue to do it no matter what CNN says. He doesn’t dance to the tune of the gallery, he is focused on his mission.

He said bad words against the pope, maligned and badmouthed bishops, attacked the Catholic Church, and even called God some unprintable names. Not even dyed-in-the-wool protestant FVR, nor professed Aglipayan Ferdinand Marcos ever did such acts of heresy. He challenge and openly attacked the US and the UN and publicly ridiculed US presidents, especially Barrack Obama. He lambasted the international human rights groups and NGOs who criticized his policies against illegal drugs. He doesn’t read prepared speeches or allow himself to be manipulated by underlings in the Malacañan press office. He is his own man. He even contradicts his own spokesmen on matters he feels strongly about.

No other president ever attempted to hint of veering away from the American axis and inclined towards China and Russia. No other presidents ever heaped more praises on Chinese leaders like President Xi Jinping and Russian leaders, like Vladimir Putin. Duterte is completely out of the box, totally unorthodox. He refuses to follow traditions or adhere to protocol. He makes his own decisions and says what he wants to say, even bordering on taboos and vulgarities. He doesn’t hold any institution sacrosanct. He has no fear and that makes him strong. He has many enemies but his popularity remains unexpectedly very high. The people seem to love him.

He has no qualms about criticizing big taipans and giant conglomerates. He challenged the big print and broadcast media, and yet the people supported him. His war against drugs has been very bloody but his main point man, instead of being prosecuted, was elected senator. He transformed a virtually unknown personal assistant, Bong Go, into a senator, outshining many veteran politicians like Enrile, Estrada, Roxas, and Osmeña. He dismisses even his friends and campaign contributors the moment there are reports of graft. He is not so much loved, but he is tremendously feared by the military and the police, but he takes care of the men in uniform beyond what all previous presidents ever did.

I don’t approve of all that he did and said, but I support most of his advocacies. Federalism, war on drugs, corruption, and crimes. He has done many amazing things, giving free tuition in college, extending the passport to 10 years, and giving free NBI clearances and other requirements to new entrants into the employment and labor market. Duterte many not be lovable. But he is firm and has done many great achievements. He may not be an angel but allegedly he has sent many devils to their graves. And he is willing to go to hell for all that he did.

RODRIGO DUTERTE
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