Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"Condemn Duterte Even If You’re A Supporter. Your man may win and become president but in the process you have lost. In making him a winner you have made yourself a loser. "

"x x x.


When he advocated for extrajudicial killings, you remained silent.

When he called someone bayot (gay), you also remained silent.

When he cracked that rape joke, even intimating the he should be the first to commit it, you also remained silent.

There are times when you break your silence and start defending him.

You remain silent even if in your heart of hearts you know that what he said should be condemned. This is because you believe that he is still the best among all the presidential candidates. He must not be criticized because the other candidates deserve to be criticized more. By hook or by crook, he must win. Therefore you reduce everything, all issues bar none, into a mere political stratagem on how to make him win even at the expense of the values you hold dear, even at the expense of the rule of law, of the principles of equality and human dignity.

The only lens you are using now in assessing his words and actions is the outcome of the presidential elections. The other lenses you have consistently used before have been thrown out of the window: the lens that says laws must be humane, the lens that says we are all equal, and the lens that says we must never contribute to the development of a culture that condones rape. All the other lenses you kept in your conscience before are now gone because this is just about him, not about us, about his winning the elections, not about the things that we have been tenaciously fighting for before he ambivalently declared his intention to run for presidency. Your sense of right and wrong has been blurred when you started to support his candidacy.

When he declared that he is going to remove algebra, trigonometry, and calculus from the education curriculum and replace them with business math, you also remained silent. You forgot that you are staunch and vocal advocate of making Philippine education globally competitive.

When he said that if China will ''build me a train around Mindanao, build me train from Manila to Bicol... build me a train [going to] Batangas, for the six years that I'll be president, I'll shut up,” you suddenly forgot that you once said or believed that our country should put up a brave front against China, that if we cannot fight China with might, we will use the force of international law to counter its aggression. Because he said that our national sovereignty can be traded for trains even if China is not the exclusive source of funds for the building of these trains, you automatically jettison your nationalistic sentiments the moment he said those words about trains and China.

Here’s a tip on how you can be a Duterte supporter and a concerned, reasonable Filipino citizen at the same time: always make not voting for him an option, always threaten him with it. Don’t adopt the stubborn stance that no amount of rape jokes, gay bashing, poor educational policy, unconstitutional or unnationalistic foreign policy, and open advocacy for extrajudicial killings can ever make you change your vote. Call him out when he insults your intelligence every time he repeats that promise that he will either stop or suppress crimes in three to six months. Shame him every time he insinuates he’s going to kill suspects without due process of law. It is never ever going to be acceptable. And you should never ever tire of chastising him for it. You should not make excuses for him the way he does not make excuses for suspects, never mind that criminality is a far more complex problem than how he paints it to be.

Based on his TV ad where he claims that he needs Senator Cayetano as his VP to correct him, you will be doing your man a great favor if you indeed tell him that what he’s doing is downright wrong.

As a voter, you should hold power over him. Don’t profess unconditional love for him; hold him to higher standards. Always threaten him with a non-vote no matter how he feigns he is unfazed by it. Your support for him must not be cast in stone. It must be subject to your remaining non-negotiables. Stop treating him as a messiah whose words are like gospel truths that must either be believed in or tolerated.

The journey to the voting precints come May 9 is as important, if not more important, than the name of the candidate for whom we will cast our precious votes. Let us not sacrifice the values we want our children to have or the things that we stood for, just because one man was so right, arguably, when he identified fighting crimes as a paramount national issue and capitalized on it, and he was also so right, again arguably, when he diagnosed the Mindanao problem and proposed solutions for it.

When you keep your silence in the face of indignities, it’s not just about the man anymore but also about what kind of person you have become.

Your man may win and become president but in the process you have lost.

In making him a winner you have made yourself a loser.

x x x."