Firm, Austere, Fair, Humble and Daring are what the Duterte Administration is all about



By Apolinario Villalobos


The audacity of the Duterte administration is such that it did what the past administrations failed to do – challenge the drug lords by naming names. The firmness is shown in how it is doing all possible legal means to fulfill the promise that something significant can be done about the illegal drugs that spawns criminality in practically all sectors of the society, within six months. Its aura of fairness reaches out to the drug users and runners who are victims of the tenacity of the drug lords by inviting them back to the fold of the law.


On the other hand, the austerity shows in how Duterte took away all the frivolities from the national government affairs, foremost of which is the State of the Nation Address (SONA) by not allowing the egoistic officials to use them as fashion runways to show off expensive trappings, and by letting them have a taste of the poor man’s fare – mongo soup, alugbate soup, fried banana, and balut-based sauce, etc. And, to cap all the changes that Duterte is laying out, he did away with, “His/Your Excellency” as a reference to him as president.


If all those are not enough for one to discern the sincerity of the new president from the south, I do not know what else can satisfy his detractors. He does not have a trace of arrogance in his bearing as he shows that a Philippine president need not wear an expensive barong tagalog to be able to meld with the sophisticated ambience in and around Malacaἧan palace. What he used to be wearing as mayor of Davao, are what people see – barong tagalog or ordinary printed shirts with the long sleeves rolled up, on top of curdoruy or denims that go with a pair of casual boat shoes. The simplicity of Duterte has made the ordinary Filipinos identify themselves with him.


Duterte is a big lesson to all Filipinos. We should be true to ourselves as people of a third world country and not of a high-end nation whose people and their ways we try to mimic. However, it does not mean that we cannot be at par with them, because in so many fields and instances, we have shown our excellent traits. We should not be what we are not….we should not be hypocrites as to talk, think and act like westerners…partaking of their tongue-twisting named dishes during special occasions, copying their cocktails, and walking on a red carpet which is part of the royalty culture that the Filipino culture does not have. We must change if we want to metamorphose into the new Filipino!