The Lost Translation of Rodrigo Duterte

rody_duterte_vector_by_liza0593-d8idb77All this anxiety and hand-wringing in certain groups about a Duterte presidency is becoming OA (overacting and whiny). Yes, I am speaking to those of you who actually think that the Philippines will suddenly descend into The Killing Fields, not those who are sowing fear for political motives (we all know you are the real monsters). RELAX.

Look at Davao. Are people walking around in fear? No. It works. On the contrary, people feel safe and secure, even women travelling alone at night. Do you see a “river of blood” as Raissa Robles puts it? The last time I checked, Davao was still a democracy.

Duterte is like the Bible. You don’t take the man literally word for word, but figuratively, as one should take a 70 year old mayor who hails from one of the most dangerous, poor and crime-prone regions of the country. The man is old school; he will call the boogeyman on you. He is the father figure who will threaten with a raised hand ready to hit your naughty behind.

Now you might say, but I am not a child to be threatened. I am a towering intellectual, a writer, a poet. Well, tough twinkies to you. The bluster was not meant for your ears. It was meant for the rest of the country that we often ignore or forget exists.

What is scary? That the elections are dirty, and people refuse to concede. THAT scares me.

Charles Englund

May 8, 2016


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