President Duterte and his unfulfilled promises

READERS' VIEWS - The Freeman

During the 2016 presidential campaign, President Duterte made a lot of promises. He made these promises in the three presidential debates held in three different venues in the country. In these debates, the president reiterated his promises that convinced many undecided voters and they believed and voted him to the presidency with more than 16 million votes.

With more than a month away before May 9 polls and the president's term will end at noon on June 30, 2022, these promises are bound to be broken. Destined to be unfulfilled they remain an impossible dream like the unreachable star and will just end up in the boulevard of broken dreams.

The president promised to solve the drug problem in six months. Six months' time is too short as he is no longer concentrating within the confines of Davao City but the whole country as well. The gravity and magnitude of the presidential coverage are so vast considering that our country is a diverse Philippine society with more than 7,000 islands, 100 languages, more than a hundred different ethnic and tribal affiliations, and with a population of 110 million people. So many lives were lost when President Duterte assumed the presidency, victims they say of "extra-judicial killings". Despite the intensified efforts of the PNP, PDEA, and other drug enforcement agencies in the many buy-bust and other drug operations, the drug problem is still far from over. It seems it's a continuous process like the waves of the sea and limitless like the universe.

The president also promised to end contractualization on the day he assumed office. This never happened. The working class still suffers the insecurities and uncertainties of being a contractual worker.

Another promise the president made was to ride in a jet ski and plant the Philippine flag in Scarborough shoal. The president, being a jolly good fellow, is fond of jokes. Riding in a jet ski was just a joke.

The president wanted to transform our structures of governance from unitary to a federal form of government. He wanted government authority to be devolved to local government units in the fullest extent of local autonomy. The ultimate goal of federalism "is to empower local government units by providing the enabling framework for meaningful decentralization and devolution".

Federalism, sad to say, has not even taken off.

We don't blame President Duterte for his unfulfilled promises. The pandemic has caught up so much of his time as he finds ways and means to contain the coronavirus which has infected more than a million of his people and claimed more than a thousand deaths. With the decreasing number of COVID-19 infections, we will be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel as everything will return to normal soon.

No president ever since declared that he has done all the things he wants to be done during his term. Even the president of the richest and most powerful country on earth admitted he could not finish all the things he wanted to finish in his administration. In the late words of John F. Kennedy:

"All this will not be finished in the first 100 days.

 Nor will it be finished in the first 1000 days nor in the

 life of this administration, nor even perhaps in our life-

 time on this planet. But let us begin."

President Duterte has begun on the right track. It is for the incoming administration, if need be, to continue what he has begun.

Alfredo A. Amasa

Sambag 1

Cebu City


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