Of Mayor Duterte
December 6, 2015
This is my own piece to the sudden surge of Duterte fans, Please respect my own view based on my long stay in Davao City. Kudos to my friends in the media in Davao City—specially Peter Lavina, Dodong Solis, Edith Ging Z. Caduaya, Bay Tonyo, Charles Raymond Maxey and others in the Duterte camp who were part of my media career in Davao City since my stay there in 1989. (Just let me visit Malacanyang Media Center once you will be there, hehe).
I was a young reporter then beating police reports in the early morning until midnight and stay vigil for more extended hours waiting for scoop.
I stayed in Ulas where my beat was Talomo Police Station and moved to Maa then in Bucana at the heart of the City. A young police reporter became radio commentator and sometimes wrote in the opinion pages in some weekly and daily papers. I’m into politics but I’m not a politician.
Duterte was already the mayor when I arrived in Davao City.
Although I don’t like Duterte-style of governance for so many reasons, I too would be so very proud if he will land at the Malacanyang in 2016.
Let me cite some that I don’t like his management that hopefully would change should he be our next president:
1. His government list infrastructure as not his priority. Davao City’s good roads are all DPWH projects. We should understand that Davao City is not just confined to the business center along Magallanes to Bajada to R.Castillo. Look at Paquibato and Marilog districts, these places seemed not part of Davao City when in fact they are. The Duterte government did not provide good roads and even foot paths to the poor. If ever there was maybe a far cry from real “malasakit”, just a token for the sake of “mere project”.
I am a living witness to the poor city workers who would remove their shoes and socks walking in dirty and muddy path ways along Bucana. The trike and “habal-habal” drivers who would curse the muddy and deplorable interiors of our city. Until these roads were cemented thereby making the poor people there walk comfortably. Thanks to the Congressmen who gave the poor good pathways and better roads. The Mayor was busy with his peace and order program then. And we know that money is huge in that program without the strict scrutiny of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Actually until now infra is seemed far from his mind. A recent visit there made me shocked seeing the very old City Engineering building still being used. The very old city hall ceilings are falling at the side and I don’t know if the floors are already repaired “kay murag mabwasot” man ta ato. Actually I have asked my friend councilor Danny Dayanghirang about these things during our masteral class and he answered ” infra is useless when the stomach of your people is shaking”. I don’t totally submit.
Davao has no place to hold big events—boxing, national sports, concerts and others. Almendras gym—the only government gym is not Duterte project, it was there when he became mayor. This despite of our boasts of having the worlds biggest land area.
GMA documentary shows showed some teachers and poor pupils and students walking difficultly in going to schools daily negotiating rivers, ravines, and hills in Paquibato and Marilog districts. When I was with Manila Broadcasting (DXGO) then we will pass Panabo City in Davao Del Norte in going to Paquibato which is part of Davao City because the city has not provided humane road for the poor people there. And we know Duterte’s friend the late NPA Commander Parago was living there.
Davao City Bus Terminal is one of the worse one can visit in the country. Yes in the level of a first-class city. You will be made to disembark in the narrow road at the back in rain and in shine. Poor passengers will brisk at the rain and watery road. One passenger even heard saying “asa bang malasakit sa mga leader dire?” Terminal surroundings are not clean and full of shanties you can’t determine the purpose. Airport is good, but that’s not a City Government project.
Traffic is worse in Panacan and Tibungco where vendors tribe in the sidewalks and also in Matina. One would comment that: these people must have no respect with simple laws and of their political leaders here”. And traffic in Davao City has been there for so many years of Duterte administration. How to solve it must be one of his priorities before going into the traffic problem in Metro Manila.
2. Peace and Order: Yes I was part in my little way, in the propaganda that Davao City is champion in peace and order. Yet for almost 3 decades we know that Duterte has been and still in his “killing spree” of alleged drug addicts and users. How many years will it take for him to complete his program? Remember a president has only 6 years, unless he’ll change that radically. During his infant years in the office, he really was not good at that. in 1993 San Pedro Cathedral was bombed. Sasa airport and pier were bombed as will.
During his stay the Broadcasters Jun Pala and Ferdie Lintuan were assassinated. Brgy Captain Jun Villarte was killed, even Councilor Galope, and many more were assassinated, murdered and killed who were non-illegal-drug-related. And what was it? Actually I’m a fan of him saying criminals and drug-addicts must die, but how about the others we knew simple and good men who’s only mistake were talking negatively about his administration?
Their deaths were actually a signal that those who will speak negatively of Duterte’s administration will die. I’m afraid in that so as many of our colleagues there. So many broadcasters and media people must join the Duterte bandwagon or leave the city. That’s why in Davao City many media people are afraid to speak against Digong. And that’s reality.
If he is really serious in his anti-illegal drug drug campaign, in his many years in office and as Regional Peace and Order Council Chairman, he must have known the source of shabu. Many of us in the media know where shabu came from as told by our friends in the police and military. How much more with him? And we know that Davao City has been the rest and recreation place of these rich illegal drug-masterminds, and why not kill them once and for all? why not stop the source and neutralize the masterminds rather than going after the small shabu vendors and peddlers for almost 3 decades?
Duterte is not actually that “matapang” as many non-Davao residents perceived him to be. We know that and please do not refute if you have not stayed in Davao for at least 10 years.
In his mouth you would hear him “putang-ina” wag kayong pumasok sa Davao kung may mga armas kayo!… But the Ampatuans and other armed Muslim politicians made Davao City their kingdom. They would enter the city with so many armed civilian-bodyguards in tow. Duterte was and is silent, or nowhere to be found in his office.
As a mediaman, I covered 2 instances where an armed muslim-politician’s relative would pull a gun at the Venue— a night club in the city. And yes there was death. One relative of a muslim-politician even went to Davao Medical Center to end the life of a wounded young man he failed to kill at the Venue. Yes inside the famous hospital. And Duterte was mum and never dip an angry finger to these bloody events. And many commented that he was just so afraid to confront a famous muslim political warlord.
And these comment also goes with his friendly gesture with the armed NPA’s. He was so afraid to face the wrath of the NPA should he “putang-ina” with them.
And one more instance, an elementary teacher at the Ateneo grade school went to Duterte to complain a gun-totting bodyguard of a Muslim politician in Maguindanao. She said she just stop a child from walking somewhere outside the school. When the bodygurad saw this, he pulled a gun and point at the teacher who was shaking cold in fear. And believing that Duterte is so “matapang” to protect a civilian like her and would gave justice to her nerve-shaking experience, he went to the mayors office and confess all. She never heard a positive response from him except : “sige kakausapin ko”. Thats all nothing less nothing more.
And where in the cities in the Philippines that boasts of their excellent peace-and-order program that bus commuters will be made to disembark in going the city with armalite-wielding para-military inspecting using their naked eyes? Peaceful places like Tokyo and Singapore has no armed police in site. Cebu City residents came and live the city without seeing armed para-military roaming in the City. If a chief executive believed in the peace in his place then he will will not spend millions of pesos in arms and armed people roaming his place like a Garrison. Respect to the leader I believed will make a place peaceful rather than in Fear.
Many non-Davao City residents where made to believed that Duterte made Davao City a better place from being notorious as killing field. That was when the communist movement was in its full-swing. Thanks to the Alsa Masa and the police like former Colonel Calida and the battalion of Army then. The communists that made the City a killing field were driven out of the city even before Duterte become a mayor.
And yes when Digong become mayor he befriended the communists Commanders and provide them with provisions so they will not muddle in Davao City. That one move I think is good to save him from trouble. And we in the Media will sing that: “Digong is good in peace-and-order…that NPA are also his constituents that he is also a mayor to them and to all…”. A smoke-screen of a coward who is afraid to confront a group that massacred women and children in Davao Del Sur. No “putang-ina” to them.
Untill now you cannot hear his “putang-ina” to the Maguindanao Massacre where many Davao-based Mediamen where killed. No “Putang-ina” to the Chinese incursion of our territory. No “Putang-ina”to the kidnappings and beheadings committed by Abu Sayyaf. No “Putang-ina” to the killers of the SAF 44″. Hope he will “putang-ina” to them should he will be in Malakanyang.
3. Environment Programs. As a reporter then, I asked Duterte about the illegal logging in the City’s mountains places. He answered, “wala nang mapuputol dahil ubos na ang kahoy”. And he has no plans about it. Hope he will look into it when he become President.
Davao City is actually a host of power plants that endanger the environment. Power plants that were already dismantled by other countries. Maybe he can do better about it when he will be in Malakanyang.
Lastly if you ask me if I will still vote for Duterte then I would say yes if i have my way. Yes because he has the ability to convince the nation that he is the best among the Presidentiables. A very difficult job even to the best PR man in the country. He is the only presidential candidate that has a clear program and direction. A kababayan in Cebu and in Davao City.
But I have to abide with our Church’s unity.
And I am more than happy if Duterte will become president because of his own credit and merits and not the exaggeration of the things he failed and or did not do. He has implemented perfectly the Smoking ban, the Firecracker ordinance, the speed limit and the initiative of establishing 911 and mostly for being true and candid to himself. Good luck Mayor! The future President!