Current Events, Philippine Politics

Duterte Debate: Why Aren’t Enough People in the Middle?


The country is split it seems, when it comes to Duterte and his demeanor and extrajudicial killings. Supporters love his authenticity and practicality. Criminals are evil and they deserve to be erased from our country no matter how many innocent lives are destroyed. Sometimes one has to experience great pain to reap the benefits of life, they say.

Those who oppose condemn the unjust killings of the accused. Human rights is the hot topic. Every person, no matter how evil, has rights that no one can take away. And his antics on TV? Those are words that don’t belong to a president’s mouth, and it might just be too risky to lash out at everyone that displeases you, especially when they can affect relationships with entire countries and organizations.

But why don’t more people inhabit the middle of the debate? Those who condemn him seem oblivious to his relatively productive performance since taking office. The corrupt are being exposed, rebels are now more than ever more hopeful of achieving peace with our military, and bills are being passed in a volume not seen since the twilight of Noynoy Aquino’s term. Missteps have come to be an expectation with Duterte, but at the very least he makes sure he is doing something in every opportunity.

His supporters, meanwhile, seem to have pledged an allegiance to him, fiercely defending him and leapfrogging universal and biblical truths while at it. They treat him as if he is family, or like he’s done tremendous things to their lives when in fact he’s just starting. The church doesn’t teach anyone to kill out of hatred, justice or vengeance. Even in the bible, God says not to kill, and even Jesus himself saved bigger sinners than what the police are killing now. You say the Bible is thousands of years old? Can you imagine significant literature like Noli me Tangere, Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings ever being out of fashion in the next century? The Bible is timeless, and you will understand more if you read it and realize most of it applies to multiple important situations in life.

Why do you have to disregard logic and truths when defending him? Nothing will ever take away his legacy as one of the best Filipino politicians, nothing will take away the progress he’s already done. Do you mean dropping a bomb on a hospital just because there are terrorists hiding there is right? Because that’s what’s happening when innocents, including teenagers raised by drug addicts, marijuana users devoid of any chances of hurting anybody and the mentally ill are also killed when they panic or just want to spare their children from losing a parent. If you voted for him, you have to be willing to be one of those innocents. Because it only takes one small miscalculation for you to be one of them. Sometimes you have to feel pain, right?

Just confess that it is wrong, and that the president and all those involved must face their punishments after this term. It only takes one innocent mistakenly killed to make you a criminal. And when it reaches the hundreds? I think that’s worth a lifetime in prison. Snowden did the wrong thing in my opinion when he broke his oath and escaped to Russia. When someone breaks an oath to the government and escapes punishment, imagine the ramifications when others, even recruited by enemies, follow. The reward should’ve been everyone knowing the truth, and in this case, the cleansing of the nation.

But even then, the sloppiness of Duterte’s process shows. Starting from or putting equal focus on the bottom of the pyramid results in a massive increase in deaths. It’s easy to think there’ll be few deaths if the focus was on top. That way you slowly kill the head of the snake and all the people that have potential to change the Philippines are saved. Why this is better? It only takes one miracle in the thousands saved, just one, to make a big impact in our society. Just one. And the others? Lock them away. You never know when you need or can produce talented teachers, hackers, entrepreneurs, athletes, programmers, preachers, even motivational speakers. Stop closing your mind because life isn’t as simple as saving the nation by killing everyone labeled as a criminal. There is this thing called potential and there is no way to predict it right now. So lock them away, wait for it to show if you need to, but I can easily imagine most of them already have skills or dreams to achieve.

…And please stop complaining how you want to kill those who commit major crimes. Remember all those who defended the killings because they want fair punishment? Remember all the decades you’ve lived and all the wrongly accused. There is no clear benefit that one has over the other method. Don’t you want to spare him and let him rot and suffer in prison? And I mean the huge majority who won’t be spoiled like in NBP. It’s better because of what I mentioned about potential. We are a country stuck in a dire position. We need all the help we can get and not even more hatred and revenge. Stop and think of the ramifications for all those around you and the millions living in poverty.

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