I believe it is the right time that my voice be heard. It is time that I answer the questions of those who belong to the anti-Duterte group in the best way I can. Before I proceed, I would like you to know that I am here not as an activist looking for political cyber wars or trying to oppose the thoughts and stands of the people towards the other candidates. I am here as an ordinary human being, utilizing and/or maximizing my right to freedom of speech.
My father was born and raised in Davao and his experience is one of the reasons that pushed me to become one of Duterte’s supporters. He didn’t force me to like Duterte, but what moved me was that I really saw the torment in his eyes, as he narrated to me the horrors of living in Davao before Duterte’s incumbency. Such as when my father’s whole family was threatened to be assassinated by lawless elements. He also recalls not being able to move around Davao after 10 in the evening due to rampant “salvaging”. People carried guns and you would not know who was legally armed and who was not.
Towards the end of his narration, I realized how his once perturbed and dissatisfied disposition transitioned into relief and fulfillment when he started talking about the time when Duterte assumed power in Davao. Stories about Duterte executing criminals and protecting the innocent went around Davao fast that may have contributed to Davao being a safety haven for families even from within its immediate provinces. My father is now able to walk around Davao without fear of being harmed especially at night just to eat his favorite durian. 🙂
I also have a lot of family relatives and/or friends-of-my-parents-kind-of-relatives who started posting their Davao stories that I appreciated and assimilated every word that they wrote. Some of my mother’s relatives had to leave the country in fear of their lives and businesses. They were only able to come home when peace was restored in Davao by Duterte.
Needless to say that there are a lot of articles circulating around the web now about the personal experiences of the other Davaoenos whose loved ones were dispatched. I would be among those who would like investigations to be undertaken in order to prove Mr. Duterte’s innocence or guilt. The well-respected Miriam Santiago said in an interview, if Duterte indeed violated human rights why after all these years, no one has filed a case against him?
I was once anti-Duterte. Don’t get me wrong I am against death penalty. But what about the victims of heinous crimes? Their human rights have also been violated. I believe that it is not going to be a killing spree like how most anti-Dutertes understand it. This is because the Filipinos are more vigilant and are more sensitive to good governance. Duterte always stresses that we have more than enough laws therefore we do not need to make new laws rather implement the existing laws. Duterte’s firm presence awakened me to the fact that it is time to revive the Filipinos from deep slumber of indolence and felony. My negative sentiment before was always, “Why would I vote for a leader who intimidates me?” but you know what, I’ve come to realize, the Philippines needs a leader who intimidates. Filipinos seem to have lost the discipline needed for this country to progress. We still have garbage problems, traffic, unemployment, unrest, just to mention a few. We also need to pass the anti-EPAL law so that there are no longer posters of politicians everywhere.
I’m deviating from the idealistic youth who believes that there are other alternatives for the betterment of our society other than harsh punishments PROVIDED by the law. I believe that is EXACTLY why Duterte and his supporters are here for. We believe that there is no such thing as “other alternatives” because of how messed up this country already is. We need a leader who is firm and has the balls to implement the laws without prejudice or “utang na loob.”
This is my story.