Shut up and Run Duterte

Events, especially crises, bring out leaders but great leaders shape events, so goes an old leadership dictum.

American President Franklin D. Roosevelt steered his country through the Great Depression and World War II and led the organization of the United Nations.

His Presidency shaped America into what it is today and established an organization of the world's nations where conflicts are settled.

He was a leader who shaped events.

On the other hand, housewife Corazon C. Aquino stood out from the among the Filipinos crying for justice and was elected President of the Philippines following the long years of Martial Law.

Her performance as President was not extra-ordinary, leaving behind a country which literally groped in darkness because of a national power crisis, but she is fondly remembered as the Mother of the Nation who responded to the calls of the people to serve as their inspiration.

Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte's story is combination of both. 

He is a leader who shaped events turning Davao City, a former Killing Fields of Communist assassins and a den of criminals, into one of the Safest Cities in the World.

Today, as events are unfolding before our very eyes, Duterte may yet become President of the Philippines not because he desires it but because there is a need for him to stand up and lead the country in these trying times.

Aside from Duterte, there is simply no one among the three other Presidential prospects who could lead the Philippines in these times when drugs and criminality beset the country, when millions of Filipinos have to leave the comforts of their homes and miss the embrace of their loved ones just to work in far-away places and the daily problem of traffic congestion in Metro Manila would go on for five long years before it could be given attention by the country's top leaders.

Vice President Jejomar Binay cannot and should not be President of this country.

He has become a symbol of brazen thievery in government service and a thick-faced politician who brushes off serious corruption charges as just political black propaganda.

Grace Poe Llamanzares, whose likeable personality and dramatic story as an orphan found abandoned in a church in Iloilo fascinated melodramatic Filipinos for a while, has shown a serious flaw in her political persona.

She lacks the intellectual depth to understand complex issues and problems confronting the country. 

Poe could be a replay of the Cory Aquino Presidency, well-intentioned but naive and inexperienced in governance and highly dependent on advisers with self-serving interests.

Manuel Roxas III is a bright and honest public official but he simply does not have the "It" in human relations.

He commits one blunder after another - falling from a motorcycle without a helmet on and recently greeting the still grieving ZamboangueƱos "Happy Anniversary" on the date when rogue MNLF rebels attacked the city burning homes and killing people.

Recently, he was again caught on camera snarling at a Radio Veritas reporter who was recording his conversation with a Surigao tribal leader in an evacuation centre.

Roxas' disastrous handling of the situation in the aftermath of Typhoon  Yolanda, failure to address the serious traffic situation in Metro Manila, drugs and criminality, and even corruption in his Department (the overpriced police vehicles as one of the proofs) has not helped change the impression that he is incompetent.

Duterte, in spite of issues that he is a womaniser, foul-mouthed and has the penchant to cut corners to achieve results, stands out as the only hope to steer the country in these trying times.

With drugs proliferating all over the country resulting in an estimated 3-million drug addicts, with crime statistics rising without any resolution in sight, with millions of Filipinos in the countryside unable to feel the much-ballyhooed economic progress of the country and with corruption permeating the core of public service, the incorruptible Duterte is perceived as the only Presidential prospect who could really change the country.

Indeed, Duterte has declared categorically that he is not interested to run for President but it has come to a point where it is no longer his choice but a moral obligation.

Duterte, who administration black propaganda operators said is suffering from cancer (I will tackle this in a future post), simply has to forget about his personal concerns and submit to the will of the majority of Filipinos looking of a leader in this trying tmes.

Duterte must, as a leader, end talking about the reasons why he does not want to be President.

The message to him is: "Shut Up And Run!"

Duterte has no choice but to run by Manny Pinol

If Duterte Doesn't Run, Binay Will Win Mindanao

Vice President Jejomar Binay, in spite of the plunder charges against him for allegedly pocketing billions from government transactions, is expected to win hands down in Mindanao should Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte stand firm on his decision not to run for President in 2016.

Even Duterte himself shared this political assessment on who would benefit most should he decide not to join the Presidential race.

"Binay," Duterte told members of the media when asked who would be benefitted most by his earlier announced decision not to run.

While Duterte did not elaborate on his reasons why he believes it would be Binay who would gain the most, it is easy to analyse why the majority of the 13-M voting population of Mindanao would go Binay.

Most of Binay's political leaders and operators are based in Davao City and the Davao Region with an estimated 3-M voters.

Foremost among these political operators is former Davao del Norte Congressman Tonyboy Floreindo, who inherited a multi-billion peso agricultural company from his father, the late Don Antonio, and who is a die-hard Binay supporter.

The former Congressman's political influence, mainly because of his vast resources, extends to as far as the Cotabato Region which explains why Binay roundly mauled Roxas in the area in 2013.

Floreindo, who is a friend of Duterte, earlier said that if the Davao City Mayor runs for President, he would tell Binay that he could not support the latter because of his very close relationship with Duterte.

Another die-hard Binay supporter in the Davao Region is Davao Oriental Governor Cora Malanyaon, who obviously will go Duterte should the Davao City Mayor make a go for the Presidency.

In a Region where Duterte enjoys an 82% approval rating mainly because of his role as Regional Peace and Order Chairman, Binay is expected to steamroll Grace Poe and Mar Roxas.

Sarangani Cong. Manny Pacquiao, who is admittedly is the political Kingpin of the area now would not turn his back on Duterte, a long time friend who staged in Davao City the first big fight for the Filipino boxing icon in terms of money earnings.

Without Duterte in the contest, Pacquiao and his ally, General Santos City Mayor Ronel Rivera, will deliver the province and the city to Binay.

In the Muslim areas of Mindanao, Duterte will surely win because he is idolized by the Muslims and also because he carries a quarter of Moro blood in him, his grandmother being a full-blooded Maranao.

Without Duterte, Binay will sweep the Moro areas, mainly because most of the political leaders are members of Binay's Fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega or APO,

Besides, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has not forgotten Roxas' role in the thrashing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) in 2008, even if he has changed his tune when President Aquino reopened the peace talks with the MILF.

Poe, who is perceived to be pushed and backed by big business and special interest groups in Metro Manila has not earned the sympathy of Mindanao leaders mainly because she is new and also because she has not made any position on how to address the Mindanao conflict.

The preference for Binay in Mindanao over Roxas and Poe, in spite of his record of corruption, is mainly because of his established personal relationships with Mindanao political leaders.

"They will all steal anyway. At least, even if Binay steals, he knows me personally and he is my APO brod," a town mayor said yesterday.

In the last survey of Pulse Asia, Duterte, who has maintained that he was not interested in the Presidency got 37% in Mindanao, followed by Binay with 18%, Poe with 15%, former President Joseph Estrada with 12% and Roxas with 9%.

In a privately commissioned survey conducted recently, Duterte zoomed to 47% in Mindanao which could be translated to about 5-M to 6-M votes.

In a 4-cornered fight, Duterte would leave behind his opponents eating dust but without him in the presidential race, a huge chunk of that figure would definitely go for Binay.

Mindanao's 13-M votes is about 24% of the total voting population of the Philippines and with his edge in Mindanao, Binay could slug it out with Poe in Metro Maila and win the Presidency in 2016.

Duterte does not hide his contempt for Binay because of the issues of corruption against him and his family.

In a speech in M'lang, North Cotabato last month, Duterte said that while the Marcoses were accused of conjugal corruption during their time, they pale in comparison to the Binays who he said were "a basketball team."

Without Duterte in the race, the Binay basketball team is expected to dominate the game.(Manny Pinol)

The Growing Mass who Think Duterte Should Run

Duterte's aide still wearing Tapang at Malasakit shirt the day Mayor declared not to run | Photo by Albert Egot Jr 

A day after he made a categorical declaration in his native Davao City that he is not a candidate for president, Mayor Rodrigo Duterte received a rousing welcome fit for a presidential candidate in three Metro Manila cities.

Duterte first punched a hole at the Navotas City Hall where city officials and employees led by Mayor John Rey Tiangco gave him a swarming welcome.

The chopper which carried him from his hotel landed at the helipad on the rooftop of the Navotas City Hall.

After alighting from the chopper, Duterte descended down the flight of stairs to the mayor’s office which should have taken only a few minutes.

Instead, Duterte ran smack into an ambush interview by TV networks which the mayor obliged as he normally does. As a result, it took him 32 minutes to traverse 11 steps. 

Tiangco welcomed Duterte in his office crammed with employees and supporters chanting "Duterte!"
The scene was replicated in every floor until the mayor left the building as workers lined up for selfies which has become a ritual wherever he goes.

On the way to the City of Malabon University (CMU), Duterte’s caravan drew applause and cheers from people who lined up the streets for a glimpse of the mayor.

When he entered the CMU grounds, jumping and screaming students who had been waiting for hours under the searing heat of the sun welcomed Duterte whom the emcee introduced as “ang nag-iisang idol ng bayan”.

The mayor’s speech was not much different from his previous speaking engagements where he lamented Mindanao’s plight under a centralized government.

“I am not a candidate,” Duterte stressed at the start of his speech, reiterating the 12-minute declaration he made in Davao City the previous day.

The reception he received, however, showed many people have not given up on the clamor for his candidacy.

People packed the streets to cheer Duterte as his motorcade took him around Malabon. Perhaps, they did not hear the news, or perhaps they just refuse to believe. Whatever the reason, it was every bit a welcome for a conquering hero.

At certain points, the caravan had to come to a full stop as people invaded the streets to get a glimpse of the mayor as shouts of “idol!” repeatedly erupted in the air.

Duterte obliged the crowd by opening the door of the van to pump flesh with fans, some of whom waved home-made welcome streamers.

Later in the evening, Duterte was guest of Greenhills traders in San Juan which was expected to be not much different from the first two.

Notwithstanding the mayor’s categorical pronouncement that he is not running, the Duterte fever is sweeping Metro Manila.

At the rate things are going, it has become a test of wills between the man who said he would not run for president, and the growing mass which insists he should. (CHITO A. FUENTES)

The man who would not run for president,
and the growing mass who thinks he should

Duterte Not Running?The Farm Beckons

The phones have not stopped ringing since the time Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte declared for the umptenth time that he would not run for President in 2016.

Most of the callers expressed disappointment and frustration over the "decision" of the Mayor not to run but there was a good number of true-blue believers who just would not give up.

Indeed, except for the word "categorical," there was nothing new in the announcement that he would run.

Just like the many others though, I also asked myself what I would do, what would my options be should my friend, Rody Duterte, decides to "finally" reject the call for him to lead the country.

Earlier this year, when he kept repeating the line that he was not interested in the Presidency, I told Rody Duterte that if that happens, I would pack up my bags, leave everything behind and settle in a foreign land, maybe start a new life in the US.

You see, when I, along with a few friends who believed in him, started convincing him to run for President, I told Rody that I would drop everything I was doing to support his bid, including politics.

Now, I have my second thoughts about that. I do not want to leave behind my brothers, my ailing mother, my relatives and loyal friends during the most difficult times the country is in.

I do not want to come back a few years later and offer myself to serve the people once again.

A few months ago, when Duterte was saying he would not run for President, I received a call from a friend who was working for a national politician.

He asked me if I would be willing to join their camp and help them should my friend decide not to run for President.

I told my friend politely that I was only involved in politics again because I believe Duterte is the answer to the problems confronting the country today - criminality, drugs, corruption, divisiveness and lack of direction in governance.

Beyond Duterte, I would not like to be involved with politics or other political personalities again.

"I would rather go home and plant camote," I joked.

Who are the other choices should Duterte really decide not to run?

Honestly, I see the political horizon bereft with a political material who does not harbor personal motives in running for the Presidency.

I cannot support a Presidential candidate who could not even face his accusers who claim he stole billions of pesos in government funds.

I cannot support a newbie who has to rely on her advisers just to come with a sensible answer to the simplest problems like the Iglesia Ni Cristo rally.

I cannot support a politician who is insensitive to the feelings of the people around him and who considers those around him as instruments which he could use to achieve his ambitions.

There is only one option for me should Duterte decide not to run.

My farm at the foot of Mt. Apo beckons. The lanzones, mangosteen, guyabano and rambutan are full of fruits.

The vegetables are growing fast while the rubber nursery promises modest earnings enough to pay off debts and lead a decent life.

The chicken breed which I developed, Manok Pinoy, is fast gaining acceptance in the meat market and I have to breed more.

The malunggays, the mayanas, the turmeric and the ginger are growing fast. Soon they will be ready for the market.

There are other things to do in life should Duterte finally decide not to run.

But I still have a last option though. It may sound desperate but I will hang on to this last option because I have always been a fighter all my life.

You see, the deadline for the filing of the Certificate of Candidacy will still be on Oct. 16, 2015, that's over a month from now.

I have been convincing Duterte to run for President for the last two years and he has consistently said No.

Today, he said No again.

Well, I waited for over two years. What's another 39 days.

My last option?

I will move on and continue convincing Duterte that he is really needed by the people as proven by the national frustration following his announcement today.

What do bar goers say about closing time?

"It's not over till the fat lady sings the blues."

And what do golfers say?

"You don't win a golf game after you have holed out in the 18th hole."

Let's continue pushing, let's continue dreaming and most of all let's continue praying that Duterte will see the light and realize that the call of the people for him to lead is real.

It does not end yet.

Duterte Not Running?The Farm Beckons by Manny PiƱol

' Sorry I will Not Run' - Duterte

Everyone in the hall was shocked and sad as Mayor Rody Duterte officially announced that he will not run for President during the City Mayor's Office press conference at Grand Men Seng Hotel.

"Hindi ako tatakbo bilang Presidente. Wala akong ambisyon na maging Presidente" said the apologetic Mayor

"In 2016, I will retire for good" he added.

His supporters got emotional as Duterte turned down his thousands of supporters clamor as their candidate for 2016 election.

"Sya lang jud ang makatubag sa atong problema. Super sad kaayo mi sa deklarasyon ni Mayor" said a woman who cried while recording Duterte's short speech.

Duterte also said he had initial talk with her daughter Inday Sara Duterte to run for Mayor in Davao City next year. 

"I will ask her to run for Mayor" he said.

Yesterday, the camp of Duterte declared that he will have a big and important announcement 4pm today. This triggered his supporters from different organizations including the group of brgy.captains behind Rody For President movement to gather in the hotel's lounge waiting for a good news.

Despite of Duterte's rejection, his supporters remain positive that the Mayor will declare to run before the filing of candidacy this October.

" We are still hopeful. We still have enough time to change his mind" said National President for Duterte For Pres. Movement, Mar Masanguid.

In the past days, Mayor said that he most likely to run if he would get a nod from his family. Recently, Inday Sara expressed that she doesnt like his father to join the presidential race.

" I will just support leaders  who will go for federalism." Mayor said and left the hall without answering any further questions from the press. 

Some dignitaries were also seen at the hotel's restaurant waiting for Duterte's announcement.