The Gutsiness of Duterte Sets Him Apart from the Rest of the SEAn Leaders…he is a standout



By Apolinario Villalobos


Let us just talk about leadership quality based on the strength of impact that it impresses on others and definitely, our own president, Rodrigo Duterte has IT. Nobody among the SEAn leaders has made such an impressive feat in less than six month after assuming his office, not even Singapore’s whose own mark made a deep impression only after several years of attempt, but which at the end proved successful, making the comparably small nation an unquestionable model for disciplined metamorphosis into progress.


Duterte is a no-nonsense leader, and whose steely personality is made more tough by his bluntness. He is not a hypocrite which is a very important trait that leaders should have, so that people around him and those with whom he deals with shall IMMEDIATELY know what he FEELS and THINKS about issues, instead of virtually running around the bush.


Only avowed detractors perceive him as evil because of his honest ways. Evil, because nasty words have become practically emotional punctuations of his language just like the “callejeros” who, happy or angry can easily mutter “putang ina”. How about comparing him with a president who always attends religious service every Sunday, maintains friends from the high society, eats French foods, wears signature apparel and cologne, drives luxury cars, earned doctorates from reputable universities here and abroad…AND NEVER EVER UTTERED EVEN A SINGLE “BULLSHIT”, BUT IS ACTUALLY DOWNRIGHT CORRUPT!?!?


If Duterte could be bad based on the hypocritical ethical standard, and the corrupt president may appear clean unless proven in court as corrupt….which of them has a better image in the eyes of the people and God? The honest though cussing Duterte? …or the hypocrite corrupt who puts on a deceitful religious and clean countenance!


During the 2016 ASEAN conference that Duterte attended in Laos, the dignitaries were unanimous in showing their admiration. Upon his arrival, other leaders and dignitaries practically vied with each other in getting his attention for a selfie opportunity that virtually broke diplomatic protocol. The Japanese minister mentioned him at the start of his speech. Prior to the conference, curiosity made Obama call Duterte “colorful”.  During an opportunity, Duterte courageously showed photos of the American atrocities in Mindanao which for me is an affront challenge to Obama who was even jolted by the historic evidences….reasons for the alienation of the Moros from the democratic system of the Philippines that the Americans planted. Had he not been outright honest, the world whose eyes were focused on the ASEAN conference would have not known the reason why our country is such in a dire state of discord.


And, most importantly, the Indonesian president was very vocal about his desire to copy what Duterte is doing to obliterate the drug menace in the Philippines. All of those are strong manifestations that contradict what detractors are sowing about the supposedly negative effect of his “bad image” due to his cussing and what his campaign against illegal drugs could give to the country such as absolute infamy!


Duterte’s request about the issue on “extra-judicial” killings was not respected, and of all people, by fellow Filipinos who by virtue of the string that attaches them to their white-skinned employer have practically made them lost their identity….as they thought they are Americans, too. All that Duterte has been asking is that this issue be not taken up during the ASEAN conference, which makes such question no longer necessarily asked during the press conference at the Davao airport. He is not dumb as not to know that it could make him flare up, if questioned, especially, by other leaders, much more Obama.


The biased and mocking editorial “warnings” about his being confronted by Obama on the issue of “extrajudicial killings” insinuated that he would buckle down, irritating him more which made him remark, “who is he”.  They obviously enjoy poking at the patience of Duterte who to them cannot compare with any other leader, just because he hails from the south, hence, with unrefined manners. Their impertinence shows that their hate of Duterte made them so naïve of the guy’s own feelings.  But, as the saying goes, goodness really prevails over evil at the end….and just like a popular Pilipino song, “Ako ang Nagwagi”…he indeed, came out the winner! On the positive side, the incident could also be another blessing in disguise as it made the world see that the Philippines has a gutsy president who dares to stand equal when it comes to asserting justified rights, even to the president of the most powerful nation in the world!