Imagine its already July 1, 2015. President-elect Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte issues his first Presidential Proclaimation: go on an all-out war against crime with a very intriguing proviso: dissolve the Commission on Human Rights!
In succeeding months, the resurrected Metrocom and PC Constabulary units of the Marcos Martial Law years barreled through criminality. With Gestapo-like tactics and invincibility, these packed jails with criminals – both from the private sector (drugs, gambling, etc.) and government (graft and corruption, etc.). Some of the suspects dying under similar suspicious circumstances along the way (like suspects grabbing the police escort’s gun). The sweeping results left the “Madlang People” in awe. The once untouchable crime lords are losing business overnight. People can now go out peacefully in the streets at night without fear of being robbed or knifed to death. The Duterte administration made crime extinct in the Philippines.
This is what a lot of Duterte supporters are envisioning. They see Digong as a “panacea” for our society’s ills. This image is, however, far from reality.
Duterte is no super crime buster. He is just a hot-headed person. Undoubtedly, Mayor Duterte solved several criminal cases in Davao city. But other Filipino city mayors were able to do the same without the media fanfare. They did make boastful statements of extrajudicial killings and summary executions. What actually makes Duterte different is that he is a textbook definition of street bully. Lady luck must have regretted in letting him pass the bar and practice law as he is the antithesis of the criminal justice system – Duterte disregarding the very tenets of human rights that he as an officer of the court should observe. In reality, he is nothing but a hot-headed man whose actions are dictated by temper and cowboy machismo. A trait that was seemingly passed on to his daughter Sarah Duterte who punched her way to national notoriety (and being able to get away with it). Hell, even the pious Pope Francis was not spared from Duterte’s wrath.
Duterte may turn the country into a police and vigilante state. To make good his promises, Duterte may likely re-organize the police and the military into a super anti-criminality force . To side step constitutional limitations, it is likely that shadowy counter-criminality para-military forces like the urban legend Davao Death Squad (DDS) may re-emerge to conduct vigilante activities and spare the police force from red tape.
Mind you, this “total war” effort of the Duterte administration will not be one-sided. The Legion of Doom (drug dealers, smugglers,gambling lords, kidnap for ransom and other illegal syndicates) is also packed to the teeth and will not yield any inch of their lucrative crime territory without a fight. Just like the unsolvable puzzle called the Abu Sayaff that lords over a billion peso kidnapping business in the South, these criminals will shoot it out to the death! What will it turn the country into? A narco-police state like Colombia or Mexico?
Duterte will be the nemesis of Bill of Rights. This early, Duterte does not mince his words about his disdain for the constitutional watchdog Commission on Human Rights (CHR). In fact, he takes pride in boasting the number of persons he killed or ordered killed. If he becomes President, the CHR could be the first government agency to shutdown. If this is the kind of President the Filipinos want, they might as well shutdown all courts of justice. The “eye for an eye” brand of justice that Duterte is seemingly pushing is a mockery of the due process of law.
Duterte will have dozens of enemies, from all sides. By making good his promise to fight criminality, Duterte will earn enemies from all sides. This will be a big problem for him as he does not have enough“spotless” political and military allies to sustain a credible campaign. Furthermore, he badly lacks the fountain of youth to lead a protracted and multi-pronged campaign. Criminality in government, for example, that has been deeply-engrained by decades of apathy (and financial success for corrupt politicians) cannot be solved by jailing all the politicians. Surely, nobody will be left to man the government if Duterte will have his way.
Duterte will just do whatever he wants – voters wanted him to do just that. Right now political observers see a Donald Trump in Duterte. Just like the rogue Republican front runner, Duterte proudly banners a bold statement: “You know I am crazy but you still like me!” Duterte who has repeatedly announce that he was not running for Presidency is now saying that there is a clamour for him to run. He says the people just wanted him to run despite his well-known unorthodox ways.
Duterte is never the Presidential timber. A self-confessed womanizer, cold-hearted killer of criminal suspects and an incorrigible foul mouth, do Filipinos really want Duterte in Malacanang stated otherwise be dubbed the “Father of Filipinos?”