Crying over spilled milk
The announcement by Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte that he was not running for President in next year’s elections was a big letdown to millions of his supporters.
The word letdown is even an understatement because it cannot describe the disappointment felt by hordes of Duterte admirers.
Had he run and won, which is highly probable, he would have become the country’s greatest President.
As President, Duterte would have brought peace and order to the entire country as he did as mayor of Davao City, once the hotbed of criminality, as its mayor.
The drug problem, prevalent in other parts of the country, is unheard of in Davao City.
Most cases of murder, robbery, burglary in homes and rape are committed by persons “high” on drugs.
Reputedly the biggest city in the world (in terms of land area), Davao is considered one of the world’s safest cities to live in.
Duterte would have brought discipline to the civil service— as he did at Davao City Hall—and the uniformed services, as he did to the police and the military in the city.
There are no reported cases of abuse by members of the police and military in Davao City, which is the country’s melting pot, during Duterte’s watch.
The city is of diverse cultures and ethnicities where Cebuano Visayans live harmoniously with Warays, Ilonggos, Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Pangasinenses, Bicolanos, Tausogs, Maranaws and Maguindanaon.
New People’s Army (NPA) guerrillas and rebels from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who are on rest and recreation (R&R) in the city are left alone by authorities as long as they are unarmed.
The problems of communist insurgency and Moro secession, which have stunted the country’s growth, would be solved because the lines of communication between Duterte and the rebels are always open.
Businesses flourish in the city not only because there is little or no crime, applications for business permits are immediately processed, without a single centavo given as bribe to city officials or employees.
“When I applied for a business permit at City Hall, it was not a hassle and I did not have to give grease money to any official or employee,” an owner of a big chain of retail stores told me.
There are no local government officials who behave like gangsters or underworld characters who extort money from business establishments.
Extortionists are placed in the same category of robbers, drug traffickers and murderers and, therefore, are easy targets of vigilante groups.
And, before I forget, Davao City Hall does not favor any religious sect.
Duterte won the first time he ran for mayor even without the support of an influential religious group, and is not beholden to anybody.
He would not have kowtowed to any interest group if he became president.
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Davao City is a microcosm or a small version of the entire country.
If Duterte was able to bring order and discipline to the city, a miniature of the Philippines, then he could do that to the entire archipelago.
But it is probably our collective karma as a people and as a nation that a perfect national leader like Duterte has yet to come along.
Am I unashamedly crying over spilled milk?
Yes, I am, and so are millions all over the country.
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