Fariñas, Batocabe defend Duterte’s strongman leadership style
(Updated to correct the name of Ako-Bicol Representative)
Allies of President Duterte in the House of Representatives defended the Chief Executive after he admitted that he was using a “strongman” style of leadership in the country.
House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas Sr. said in a text message to reporters that if it would be based on the dictionary definition of the word “dictator,” Duterte could not be considered as one.
Fariñas, citing the definition, said Duterte was “NOT “exercising absolute power, especially a ruler who has absolute, unrestricted control in a government without hereditary succession.”
But he described Duterte as a “President who authoritatively prescribes conduct, usage, etc.” when he gave a stern warning to his officials who will engage in corruption and frequently go on junkets.
“Any high official who serves at his pleasure and is dragged even in a whiff of corruption or unnecessarily travels abroad gets fired! He also wants them traveling on economy class,” Fariñas said.
Ako-Bicol Rep. Rodel Batocabe, meanwhile, does not see any problem on Duterte becoming a dictator if it means “having the political will and guts to do what he thinks his right for the benefit of the silent majority despite strong opposition from a noisy minority.”
“If a dictator means going against traditions and fighting well- entrenched establishments and exposing them for what they are, he is a dictator,” he said, also in a text message to reporters.
“And finally, he is a dictator for saying and doing things we are too afraid to say and do in public but we all want to say and do. He is a dictator for having such courage to go against well- established political norms land institutions like the United States and European Union as well as the church which past democratic presidents could not even try not even in their dream,” the lawmaker added.
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