I WAS reading one of the headlines of the latest issue of The Economist which featured a story about Rodrigo Duterte’s guide to diplomacy. I was so fast to turn the page where that story was printed. The title of the piece was, “The wit and wisdom of Rodrigo Duterte: Shoot from the lip”.
It was a very short piece about the President which described him as a tough guy who described Mr. Obama with his “flowery” words which he expressed regret after. The American President just brushed it off, but cancelled a meeting with him. Only the other day, in a speech, he told Obama to go to hell, and the EU to go to purgatory because hell was already full.
As the piece mentioned, in fairness to him, he does not only talk about Obama that way, but the same way for everything else. Like the way he sent his message to the Pope because apparently the pope’s visit caused a lot of traffic in the Metro. When Singapore executed a Filipina maid, he described the country as a garrisson pretending to be a country.
On the killing of a Filipino journalist, he said that being a journalist does not excempt him from assassination, and proceded with expletives.
On the UN questionning him about human rights abuses, he empasized that the organization cannot even solve the Middle East carnage and told them to shut up.
A friend posted on social media: TRUST THE PRESIDENT.
My reaction is: How can you trust someone who says something at the height of his emotions and takes it back after, issues an insincere apology and does it all over again? He should shape up before we should trust him again.
He cannot just blurt out what comes off from his mind. These are heads of states that he is pertaining to. These are allies. These are respectable people. Is that why he did not want to be called, “HIS EXCELLENCY” so that he may do otherwise?
All these he does because of his pure hate for drugs. He is willing to sacrifice diplomacy for this war he will never win. Killing is an easy solution. It does the job of cutting the supply by killing the supplier, and reducing demand by killing the demander. But these are only band-aid, temporary solutions.
I was also able to read the piece written by a former Duterte follower. The premise that if Mr. Duterte antagonizes the US and EU while they mostly provide the Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) as well as Portfolio Investments in the country. Slowly, portfolio investments can be observed to have flight out of the country, evidenced by the sluggish Philippine Stock Exchange. Will we wait for the FDIs to flee as well?
The largest contributors to our National Output under the services sector are the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, mostly contact centers from the US, UK and Europe. If all these companies pull out their investments from the country, what will happen to our labor force? Unemployment will rise.
He boasts of wanting to ally with China and Russia. Will they invest in the Philippines? Will they be able to employ as much?
Granting that they will invest, particularly in the BPO Industry, there is only a few Filipinos who can speak Chinese. There are much, much less number of Filipinos who can speak Russian, if there are.
DRUGS is not the only problem of this country. It is not the root of all problems either. His personal bias is clouding his better judgment. The economy is failing. Poverty is becoming more prevalent. Traffic is worsening.
Where is the change he promised?
Speaking of European investments, only last weekend I visited a deli, H&W Delicatessen and they sell deli food and drinks at a reasonable price. I loved the smoked salmon, among others. Visit the place. It’s at the 2nd Floor of Samson Building (Pag-Ibig building) along Upper Session Road, Baguio City. I am proud to say that the owners can be described as entrepreneurs with the true sense of the word.