How would I describe Duterte’s style of governance or politics? To date I still have no clear answer my self, so I will borrow Prof Randy David’s answer:
The Duterte style appears to be a blend of at least two things. The first is a unique way of engaging audiences that combines tough talk with crass humor, and self-righteous moralizing with an oversimplified view of the world. And, the second is an unfaltering will to act that eschews reasoned discussion of any issue.
This style seems to serve him well regardless of the issue. It could be the jailing of Sen. Leila de Lima, the cancellation of the Inquirer owners’ contract of lease on a government-owned property, the cancellation of the “onerous” contracts of the water companies, the renewal of the franchise of the ABS-CBN broadcasting network, the withdrawal of the country’s membership in the International Criminal Court, the abrogation of the Visiting Forces Agreement, or the so-called pivot to China and the concomitant refusal to assert the favorable arbitral tribunal ruling on the West Philippine Sea. Or, to take a more recent instance, the issue could be the fairness and wisdom of imposing a travel ban to and from China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
Whatever reasons he gives for his decisions, they rarely rise above his personal feelings or grudges. He shows no patience for nuanced arguments or for the need for careful study by experts. He delights in being able to interrupt all debate by the mere issuance of a decision, leaving his spokespersons and members of his Cabinet to either soften the blow or to find a legal and nonpersonal justification for the decision.
Could it be said that Duterte is the epitome of or personification of the anti-intellectualism aka “smart-shaming” that has become pervasive in our national consciousness? Or he has simply became the symbol and expression of our collective frustration from the failure of our democratic setup and past governments post-Marcos to give us a better life.
Today we commemorate the 156th anniversary of Andres Bonifacio’s birth. Father of the Philippine Revolution, considered by some historians to be the first President of the Philippines, a revolutionary, mysterious and controversial figure, and an enduring symbol of the struggle for the Filipino masses for a better nation.
What originally began as re-posting the immortal passage from the famous patriotic call “Ang dapat mabatid ng mga Tagalog” attributed to Andres Bonifacio, I decided instead to re-post a lesser known speech or manifesto issued either February or March of 1897 as a patriotic call to the Katipuneros in response to the attacks made by the Spaniards at Silang, Zapote in Cavite and in Batangas.
Sa Marahas Na Manga Anak Nang Bayan:
Ang inyong ipinakilalang katapangan sa pakikihamok sa kaaway na mga Kastila buhat pa ng simulan itong panghihimagsik, ay siyang nagsasabing mataas na di ninyo ikinasisindak ang ugong ng paghahanda at pagsalakay dito ng hukbong akay ni Polavieja, na sa kaunting panahon ay nagpakilala na ng malabis na kaduagan at hamak na kaasalan ng alipin sa kanyang pagpapahirap at malimit na pagpatay sa makapal na kalahing hindi nagsisilaban. Yaong pagpapasunog nito sa mga bayan, yaong paglapastangan at pagdungis sa capurihan ng mga babai na di na pinacundanganan ang canilang cahinaan, yaong pagkitil ng buhay ng mga matatandang hindi na macausad at sanggol na sumususo pa, na cailan may hindi aasalin at gagawin ng sino pa mang lalaking may puri at may tapang, ay humihingi ng isang masiglang paghihiganti at matinding caparusahan.
Sa inyong pamimiyapis mangyayaring abutin ang cayo’y tanghalin bangkay sa gitna ng parang ng pakikidigma; ngunit ito’y isang kapurihang inyong maipapamana sa ating Bayan, sa ating lahi, at sa ating angkan.
Ang inyong mapupugtong hininga, ay siyang magbibigay buhay sa ating Bayan at siyang matamis na alaala sa gunita ng inyong mga kapatid na maiiwan.
Dapat naman ninyong mabatid, na ang kadahilanan ng ating paggugugol ng lalong mahalaga sa loob at sampu ng ingat na buhay, ay ng upang tamuhin at kamtan yaong linalayong Kalayaan ng ating Bayang tinubuan na siyang magbibigay ng buong caginhawahan at magbabangon ng ating kapurihan na ilinugmok ng kaalipinan sa hukay ng kadustaang walang makatulad.
Sasagi kaya sa inyong loob ang panlolomo at aabutin ang panghihinayang na mamatay sa kadahilanang ito? Hindi, hindi! Sapagka’t nakikintal sa inyong gunita yaang libolibong kinitil na buhay ng mapanganyayang kamay ng Kastila, yaong daing, yaong himutoc at pananangis ng mga pinapangulila ng kanilang kalupitan, yaong mga kapatid nating nangapipiit sa kalagimlagim na bilanguan at nagtitiis ng walang awang pagpapahirap, yaong walang tilang pag agos ng luha ng mga nawalay sa piling ng kanilang mga anac, asawa at matatandang magulang na itinapon sa iba’t ibang malalayong lupa, at ang katampalasanang pagpatay sa ating pinakaiibig na kababayan na si M. Jose Rizal, ay nagbukas sa ating puso ng isang sugat na kailan pa ma’y di mababahaw. Lahat ng ito ay sukat ng magpaningas sa lalong malamig na dugo at magbunsod sa atin sa pakikihamok sa hamak na Kastila na ang nag bibigay sa ating ng lahat ng kahirapan at kamatayan.
Kaya mga kapatid, igayak ang loob sa pakikipaglaban at paaasahan ang pagtatagumpay, sapagka’t na sa atin ang tunay na katuiran at kabanalang gawa; ang Kastila, iyang kasuklamsuklam na lahing dito’y napasuot, ang tanging ipinaglalaban ay ang maling katuirang panggagaga at panlulupig dito sa di nila bayan.
Sa lahat ng ito, ng malubos ang kabanalan at kapurihan ng ating lahi, ng tanghalin ng Sandaigdigan ang kamahalan ng ating kalooban, ay huag nating tularan ang kalabang Kastila sa pagkahamak ng asal sa ugaling gamit sa pakikidigma, huag tayong makipaghamok sa kaibigan lamang pumatay, kundi sa pagtatanggol ng Kalayaan ng ating Bayan, at abutin sa mahigpit na pagkakayap nating mga anak ng Bayan, ay mahiyaw ng buong lakas na Mabuhay! Mabuhay! Ang Haring Bayang Katagalugan!
Andres Bonifacio, Manifesto: Sa Marahas Na Manga Anak Nang Bayan. From 20 Speeches that Moved a Nation edited by Manuel Quezon III.
At a recent ADL conference, actor/comedian/director Sacha Baron Cohen links the rise of the social media to the decline of democracy:
“Today … demagogues appeal to our worst instincts. Conspiracy theories once confined to the fringe are going mainstream. It’s as if the Age of Reason—the era of evidential argument—is ending, and now knowledge is delegitimized and scientific consensus is dismissed. Democracy, which depends on shared truths, is in retreat, and autocracy, which depends on shared lies, is on the march. Hate crimes are surging, as are murderous attacks on religious and ethnic minorities.”
Though he cites many reasons, emphasis was made on one:
But one thing is pretty clear to me. All this hate and violence is being facilitated by a handful of internet companies that amount to the greatest propaganda machine in history.
The greatest propaganda machine in history.
Think about it. Facebook, YouTube and Google, Twitter and others—they reach billions of people. The algorithms these platforms depend on deliberately amplify the type of content that keeps users engaged—stories that appeal to our baser instincts and that trigger outrage and fear. It’s why YouTube recommended videos by the conspiracist Alex Jones billions of times. It’s why fake news outperforms real news, because studies show that lies spread faster than truth. And it’s no surprise that the greatest propaganda machine in history has spread the oldest conspiracy theory in history—the lie that Jews are somehow dangerous. As one headline put it, “Just Think What Goebbels Could Have Done with Facebook.”
On the internet, everything can appear equally legitimate. Breitbart resembles the BBC. The fictitious Protocols of the Elders of Zion look as valid as an ADL report. And the rantings of a lunatic seem as credible as the findings of a Nobel Prize winner. We have lost, it seems, a shared sense of the basic facts upon which democracy depends.
By defaming Filipino workers before the world, Tulfo and company are demonstrating how much they loathe the very class that produces the goods and services they themselves enjoy, and dismissing any possibility that the country of their birth, through its own people’s efforts, can ever better itself.