THE Filipino people have spoken in the just concluded midterm elections and it showed a clear approval of President Duterte’s leadership and governance and the merciless repudiation of the opposition’s Otso Diretso candidates.
Indeed, even the illustrious names of past politicians, like the Tañadas, Dioknos, Roxases, Osmeñas and Aquinos, who used to enjoy the admiration, trust and confidence of the people, have lost their luster in the younger generation.
In this day and age it no longer matters whether a candidate for an elective position carries the distinguished name of his forebears. What matters now is in whose hands is he entrusting his political future.
It just so happens that in today’s politics the name Duterte has become a winning phenomenon that whoever throws in his lot with him and the party associated with him has the greater chance of winning. This is what the national and local elections results have proven.
This is why not a single opposition candidate is becoming a senator, after the 12 spots were filled in by President Duterte’s PDP-Laban candidates and candidates under the presidential daughter’s party, the Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
A painful experience, especially for the local candidates? You bet it is! Just ask Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña. After Vice Mayor Edgar Labella was invited to Malacañang for a photo-op endorsement, Osmeña’s defeat became a fait accompli.
But that is neither here nor there. The fact is that the Otso Diretso debacle is a referendum giving Duterte the green light to continue the road map he has envisioned for the country for the remaining years of his presidency.
Most people have come to realize now that the presidency is not about being politically correct so as to look presidential, as past presidents have aspired to be, so that they will always be in good graces with the people.
The stark difference is what the people have seen in Duterte and they liked it. On a larger scale the people appreciated what Duterte is trying to accomplish for the country. How he transformed wayward Davao City in the early days to become a peaceful and livable place under his no-nonsense leadership and political courage or conviction has become a template for the whole country.
Duterte’s candor, despite the uncouth words spoken, is what has endeared him to the people and in return the people continue giving Duterte an unconditional support and a high trust and approval rating to steer the country the way he sees fit, and that includes endorsing political allies who are capable of helping him advance the country to progress. (By Jesus Sievert)