EDITORIALS




1October

Brinkmanship?

Critics and even some friends have described President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s domestic and international approaches or policies as unconventional. Some say they are “unorthodox”. His has never been like any other previous Filipino presidents’.  The case of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos is another matter. He did the real sordid thing.       

Of course, it is natural that friends will never portray each other negatively. That is why, in the first place, they are friends. But truth is that even his critics are generally cautious or modest in their comments. This goes to show the extent of his popularity.  The general public are still very much with him.

But this lull is not an assurance that they will not pound on him when the precise moments come. Silence is oftentimes chilling. They are just waiting for the “big slip” to happen. Former President Benigno Aquino III was practically untouched until the Mamasapano tragic incident exploded on January 25, 2015. After that Aquino was painted black by his “political enemies” or critics as if he had not done anything good for the country.

Reckoning will always take place in the end. Right now, we view Duterte’s style as his natural way. Nothing is cosmetics. But in another sense, wrongly or rightly, it can also be interpreted as an act of brinkmanship. Leaders, especially effective leaders, usually walk the tight-rope when they make decisions or policies.  In many instances, their decisions are unpopular but in the end they are proved correct.

We are surely certain that many of those negative happenings attributed to him are not his. But the problem is that it is hard to make the separation.

That Duterte is a leader, an effective one, is beyond doubt. Davao City progresses in heaps and bounds, and in term of security, it is one of the five safest cities in the world today. But for him to succeed this time cannot be determined as yet. He has just been in the presidency for barely more than three months. It is too early to tell. We, for one, hope that he succeeds in his war against drug trafficking, crimes, and corruption in government.

The other matter that we hold high in him is his efforts to return to the leaders of this country that sense of respect and integrity. It seems only few do not barter their souls in exchange for things that glitter. Materialism and worldliness have their heydays in current times.

However, while we respect Duterte very much, but his ways to accomplish his mission is another matter. We have our own peculiar way to handle things. They have dissimilarities, as well as similarities!

On another issue, we expect the Executive Order creating or reconstituting the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) to be signed by the President very soon, so that the BTC can start immediately in crafting the new Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL). The government sets July 2017 for the BTC to submit their draft to the Office of the President (OP) and right away to be submitted to Congress

Time is ticking away fast and it is not returning. Before we realize, it is already 2017, which is barely three away from now.