Fetalvero: On culture, Mr. President

NOBODY knows Filipino culture better than President Rodrigo Duterte. He used this knowledge during his presidential campaign and still uses it to govern our country.

“Utang na loob,” is a Filipino trait that involves a reciprocal relationship. Scratch my back and I will scratch yours. Favor begets favor.

Corruption is deeply rooted. In fact, it is in the DNA of almost every Filipino. Government transactions have the stamp mark of corruption. Governance has never been so easy with quick fixes.

Geography and ethnic culture divide us. A very colorful political atmosphere likewise polarize us—red, yellow, white, blue. If Duterte is a believer of “divide and rule,” our present political climate favors him.

The need for “Padrinos” is a systematic way of lobbying that makes Filipinos forget that politicians are mandated to serve.

Have you stopped keeping tab of the number of times that Duterte issued a threat on national television? Filipinos are non-confrontational. Witnesses clam up when exposed to a culture of violence. We all know what happened to the people who got his ire.

Filipinos continue to hope even if we were deprived of—for the longest time—basic needs. And since Filipinos are gullible and vulnerable, we still believe our leaders will deliver what they promised.

Filipinos are territorial people. Loyalty to the “kababayan.” How many personalities from Davao have been appointed into office if not endorsed to hold key positions in government?

Duterte appointed military men in his cabinet? In his own words: “They readily obey orders.” He knows that Filipinos easily get intimidated with uniformed men. Duterte did his research even before he filed his certificate of candidacy. Filipinos will protect family and reputation at all cost. I think the reason why some politicians toe the line is because they have skeletons in their closet. Could Duterte possibly have a dossier of our politicians?

Majority of Filipinos get informed and entertained through television. Those living in the poverty line cannot afford to watch expensive concerts, movies featured at the malls or live basketball games. To deprive them of free entertainment via a TV network of their choice, is being insensitive to say the least. Mr. President, remember Filipinos are over sensitive.

Closure of a media institution threatens the very fiber of democracy. Since you know our culture than anybody else, Mr. President, what legacy would you like to leave our countrymen?


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