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‘Duterte kills only bad men’

That was the reply to my question, “Why do we want an admitted killer, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, to be our President?”

The response was shocking, coming from a middle-aged religious lady who goes to Mass every Sunday, and who studied from kindergarten through college at the Assumption College. I wondered if she knew better, would she even vote for such an admitted killer to be the barangay chairman of the posh neighborhood she lives in? Perhaps she thought that Duterte would simply do the dirty job of killing the kind of people the elite want eliminated so they could feel safer whenever they needed to step out of their mansions.

I suspect that this woman, in her mind, pictured the (suspected) criminals Duterte killed as dirty ugly burly men she sees through her car’s window. But according to documentation by Fr. Amado Picardal, among the 1,424 suspected criminals, none of them has been charged in court, only killed by Duterte’s Davao Death Squads from 1998 to 2015. Of those, 57 were female and 132 were young people – 126 boys and six girls – not more than 17 years of age. All were unarmed when they were taken, with some killed by Duterte himself, according to his boasts.

What has happened to us, that even the educated have abandoned their Christian value of reverence for human life?

But forget religion.

This lady apparently has been unaware that our society has made a leap in its evolution toward a higher form of civilization by outlawing any man from killing another, except, of course, in a real case of self-defense. In fact, 80 percent of 195 nations on earth (including the Philippines) only in the last two decades have outlawed even the state from taking the life of another human being. And this stance is based not on any metaphysical or religious teaching, but totally on rational grounds, supported by empirical evidence: that killing is irreversible, completely unjustified by the risks of killing an innocent and that it is not a deterrent to crime.

If you want to see the kind of society Duterte really is espousing, watch the news footage of how the ISIS beheads, burns, or shoots suspected criminals or violators of the Koran.

Yet even those who should be better informed think that Duterte, who even boasts of, and favors, the killing of suspected criminals without due process, should be President of our nation.

The popular Duterte, and the last two presidents the masses had also adored, once.
The popular Duterte, and the last two presidents the masses had also adored, once.

Indeed, he had even boasted that his style was to first order a (suspected) criminal to kneel down before him (to make himself feel like a god?), then he would shoot him in the head.

Crime running amuck
Crime has run amuck under President Aquino’s watch, and this is to a great extent due to the fact that his Cabinet member in charge of fighting crime – Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas, who has the Philippine National Police under him, has not done his job. He has, instead, spent the last four years scheming and amassing funds to win the presidency by hook or by crook.

But we are not Somalia, nor Nigeria, where the rule of law has collapsed, if it was ever set up in the first place. We are not even Colombia, where drug cartels ruled over much of its territory. There has been a consensus that the way to solve crime is not to kill all criminals, as Duterte wants, but to build up an efficient police and legal system, to create safety nets for the poor, and to develop an egalitarian, prosperous economy so that fewer among the people would be pushed to a life of crime because of abject poverty.

Look: There have been so many other cities in Mindanao, among them Cagayan de Oro, General Santos and Iligan, which had as many socioeconomic problems that nurtured criminality, yet which were able to contain crime, without the Duterte policy of killing the criminals when captured or found in their hide-outs.

There have also been so many episodes in the past when mayors – even that of Manila as in the first term of Mayor Fred Lim – thought that extrajudicial killings were the most cost-efficient way of ridding their areas of crime. Most of them realized it was a bloody slippery slope, which became obvious when the executioners started to sell their services. Their tough anti-crime episodes have been forgotten.

So how come this killer has, in a few months’ time, managed to portray himself as the country’s messiah?

First is by the fact that obviously he possesses a unique set of antics and behavior many find entertaining, similar to what the convicted grafter Joseph Estrada had, which enables Duterte to effortlessly, almost naturally, fool the masses with the notion that he is one of them, and that he could be their savior. Second, given the existence of a deep resentment among a certain segment of the Filipino public toward the hacendero President Aquino, the masses now adore his anti-thesis. As Duterte himself put it, “The people love me because they hate Aquino.”

Mindanao oligarchs
The third and probably the most important reason why this beast from Davao has emerged is something hidden from many:

We have an opportunistic, unscrupulous faction of the elite that has cleverly led Duterte by the nose, feeding his ego that he would be so good he would change the country, assuring him of a very comfortable life awaiting him (which is the purpose of his P200 million BPI account), bankrolling a P5 billion campaign kitty for him, and fooling the masses through creative ways that there is now a mass movement for their ‘messiah’ from the South. (A recent example: What easier, clever way is there to fake massive youth support for Duterte than to hold a rock concert by popular singers and bands, with the Davao mayor as the only speaker, as Ramon Jacinto did on Saturday?)

You would have been living abroad, or born just yesterday, if you thought that Duterte’s rise had been spontaneous and you believed his clever lie that his supporters, the “Emilio Aguinaldos” from the provinces, were financing his campaign.

Senator Alan Cayetano quite obviously has been the most visible of these manipulators, as convincing Duterte to take him as running mate was his only way of preventing his political disappearance from these elections, a situation which would have stopped dead in its tracks his ambition to be President by 2022.

But Cayetano is only one among these shadowy oligarchs who thought an opportunity had opened up for them to control a President as a result of the two-year character assassination drive against Vice President Jojo Binay that was intended to weaken his presidential bid; the citizenship case against Grace Poe (who, after all, was politically vulnerable because of her utter inexperience in governance); and the indefensible, weak record of Aquino’s candidate, Roxas.

We’ve seen this before, when the elite managed to rouse a mob in a frenzy of support for a charismatic leader, whom they, however, really owned.

In 1998, there was a “Duterte” in the person of Joseph Estrada (the milder and kinder version, with a less venomous mouth) with his cabal of shadowy Chinese businessmen, who got 40 percent of the votes. And in 2010, the “Duterte” of the time was Aquino, the prince of the recently-departed Yellow Queen, who could do no wrong, and backed up by the country’s richest oligarchs, believed to be the Lopezes and the Ayalas who were terrified that a rival tycoon – Manuel Villar – would be President. (Duterte’s recent 33 percent ratings are still significantly below the 38 percent Estrada and Aquino received a month before the elections.)

And look where these two past “Dutertes” got our country into.

This time, the oligarchs of Mindanao – the Davao property and mining tycoons     and banana kings, among them – think it is their turn.

This is not a nation, but a collection of tribes, each with the various factions of the oligarchy playing their real-life game of thrones.


This Post Has 42 Comments

  1. RC

    Voters just look what happened to Davao..no.5 safest city in the WORLD. Do you and your family want to be safe from criminals like hold uppers, pick pocketers, “kotong” cops, robbers,kidnappers,rapist,etc.? If u do, study Duterte very well. Yes, he have bad mouth but what he did in Davao was honored by other countries. Other candidates have decent mouth in public but what they had accomplished? And we don’t know what’s their true behavior if they’re in their houses,safe zones. How many policemen involved in illegal things for this past few years? NPA evolved bcoZ of unfair justice in our country. Remember NPA handed over their hostages to Duterte these policemen and soldiers. How he did it?

    1. bulldog

      Remember NPA handed over their hostages to Duterte these policemen and soldiers. How he did it?

      –>> Come on, first of all. How is it possible that his policemen were kidnapped in his own city? It goes to show Davao is not safe from rebels and its security is not tight.

      Remember NPA is an enemy of the state, it is a rebel group.

      Second, Duterte is NPA friendly and it his policemen. Go figure, palabas lang yan kidnapping. Tanga ang naniniwala da palabas na yan.

  2. Demosthenes Obias

    As of now the Philippines needs a benevolent dictator!!! Duterte cannot be likened to Erap because Erap was accused an Illegal Gambling Lord while Duterte is allegedly a killer of hardened criminals, drug lords and drug pushers just for the sake of his constituents. Almost all anti-Duterte are seeking refuge to due process of law and to human rights; however, they forgot that good and law abiding Filipino citizens also have human rights to live free from danger of being victims by criminals. Parents also have rights to protect their children from harm caused by dangerous drugs. Extra-judicial killings against criminals particularly those in drugs syndicate is a must which cannot be resolved by procedural due process of law alone. Hence, many chose Duterte for President!!!

  3. Rosauro Feliciano

    I had many opportunities to emigrate since from 1969 as a student in the US Naval Training Command at San Diego, then if 1973 at the US Coast Guard in New York onward as OFW from 1974 working with foreigners for General Dynamic up to now still an OFW. All these years behind me more than half of my friends and their families migrated to the USA, Canada, and Australia still I don’t like to imitate them, and why? Because am sure that someday the Philippines will be a progressive country.

  4. Rosauro Feliciano

    Throw all rubbish to Duterte including tolilet bowls, and still I will vote for Duterte because I witnessed a very intelligent child who was sent out from the classroom because he was caught by his teacher taking illegal drugs but he became more addicted to drugs when he was out of school and died. His OFW father used to send money for his daily expenses. We need a man who has strong WILL to get rid of these drug lords whose money are being used to corrupt our law enforcers.

  5. Jay R

    The writer is a loser! kahit ano pa gawin at sabihin mo, kahit kumampi kapa kay Trillanes, talo pa din Manok mo na si Binay! Manila times – BIAS!!!!

  6. pen

    “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans. Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.” the famous word of Manuel L. Quezon, and Filipinos at that time was so ecstatic, sarap pakinggan. Kaya ayon our nation is run like hell since then. Well as they say “Careful what you wish for”.

  7. Commentor

    The first recorded president of the Philippines is Emilio Aguinaldo. Am sure he killed many. He lived until 90 or more. Next was Quezon, no info analysis on killings so was Osmena, and Abad Santos. Then Roxas came. As he reached to be a general he could have killed too. So with Quirino if he was a guerilla he could have killed too. No doubt Magsaysay could have killed too. He was as a guerilla too and even became secretary of National Defense. How about Garcia and Macapagal ? I doubt he did. His daughter GMA could not even sign a death sentence. Marcos ? His book tells of many killings mostly Japs not to include one civilian where he had a case won. Am very sure Cory Aquino never. Am sure Ramos did killings too as a decorated soldier. Then came Estrada.. No doubt I saw myself in my own eyes. He is the topnotch of them all. He could have been beaten by my idol FPJ if he was not cheated. I have already mentioned GMA. no stomach for it. Noynoy ? He likes guns but not one who can kill. Did not read any killing at the height of coups during her mother’s term.
    Now we have the soon to be president of the Philippines as per the current surveys is to be believed. A phenominal man named Du**rte. As per his speeches, he would be ready to kill thousands if necessary as he has already admitted doing a few tens if not hundreds personally.
    Wow. There is a very big difference between him and those presidents before him who may have killed a thousand.
    We have now the intaynet sorry the internet to guard him and to record more killings
    as he promised to do.

    He already warned everyone not to vote for him if they do not agree with him.

    Kung kaya nyong magmura at mambura ng kalaban nyo e di iboto nyo sya.

    May God bless us all.

  8. jo

    Switch to Miriam Santiago! That is the best option for our country. She was never tainted with corruption. She is also intelligent and with vast experience in the legislative, executive and judiciary branches of our government.

  9. Diana

    I didn’t read the entire article after I read a few paragraph this article doesn’t make any sense.

    To Mr.Tiglao,

    Can you please write an article that is surely not paid by other candidate just to put his name in vain? You focus more in KILLING unarmed criminals. Why? Do you have a better solution on dealing with CRMINALS who KILL INNOCENT CITIZENS? What do you suggest? Put them in jail? And then what? Eat 3 meals a days? Have a place to sleep?

  10. edgar

    Tiglao said DODIRTY will kill all the bad guys so you and Tatad will be killed.

  11. ryan

    Mr. Tiglao, only the criminal and not law abiding citizen don’t like Mayor Duterte. Our country is not safe anymore. Our country nowadays is the safe haven of criminals. Only Digong can help this country to neutralize criminals. I will vote for “The Punishers”

    1. alvintsamaria68@yahoo.com

      i hope he does not win….but if ever……you will be at the alter crying for help……

  12. Jojo Castro

    I used to admire your column but I feel sad you degenerated into the level of other crass opinion writers. Why not write about the other presidential candidates? Why focus on Duterte alone? Or you are just yelling out enough for him to listen to you hoping you will have his ears and be appointed to a position when he becomes president? Why not do the same strategy to the other candidates so you will have their listening ears too?

  13. marx perfecto garcia

    don’t be shocked by the answer of that middle aged lady. just like her many filipino citizens are just tired of the status quo where in criminals are given too much human rights before being convicted and punished. do these criminals respect the human rights of law abiding citizens? the law abiding people are always at the receiving end. it is ok if the government thru the police agencies could protect them at all times. it is about time these criminals should be at the loosing end.

  14. Samuel Santos

    “The response was shocking, coming from a middle-aged religious lady who goes to Mass every Sunday, and who studied from kindergarten through college at the Assumption College.” Parang kilala ko kung sino sila, ah.!?

  15. Rolex Sanchez

    . . . . and thus you would rather vote for Binay, Poe or Roxas, right? Man, you must be paid well, ibang klase ka.

  16. Arlene

    Filipinos are no longer thinking straight. Out of desperation, they will vote for anyone who could eradicate criminality in the country. For twenty five years, Filipinos had seen nothing but failed economy, surge of criminality, graft and corruption in the government and extreme poverty. So anyone who can promise real change, Filipinos will gamble and take the risk for that man. We are a desperate nation that want real change…but can Duterte bring forth this change? That remains to be seen. We need God’s intervention and hope that whoever win in this election would pull the Filipinos out of the mud and make it a great nation.

  17. luke saint

    Mr. Tiglao, Sir… why are you so against the Mayor from Davao City? His LEADERSHIP in DAVAO was so effective and well appreciated by the people not only from Davao City but as well as in any parts of MINDANAO…not to mention the VISAYAN’s and some from LUZON.
    Can’t your BOLD EYES see these whenever the MAYOR from Davao campaigns?

  18. jack reacher

    Duterte, if elected president, will “desintegrate” under the demands of the presidency. This is a man who was forced to run and assured of funds to bankroll his candidacy by, as usual, big business.

    Yes .. Crime is a very serious problem .. pero hindi lang naman ito ang problema. Just look and observe the level of intellect this man has with his replies .. “.. kokopyahin na lang ung programa nina sen miriam at vp binay .. sanay naman siyang mangopya since grade 1..” (applause)

    Big business must be grinnning from ear to ear .. ” ..THIS IS OUR MAN..” (wink wink)

    Looking forward 2018.. 2020 .. 2022 — DISAPPOINTMENT !

    Be very careful in choosing the VP .. This Duterte might not be able to complete his 6-year term.

    1. To the Max

      I assume that what ever Duterte said has a bit of truth in them. Like killing unarmed criminals, cussing everybody that get in his way, cussing the pope, having numerous extramarital affairs, abolishing the Congress. These are his statements not the newspaper columnist, not a pigment of ones imagination. Tell me who will vote for this man and I will ay we are really in big trouble. This guy is a NPA sympathizer, for heaven sakes. Is this country gone to the dogs. Why did we go to school ? Did we learn anything in decency. Are we enjoying his one liner just to be entertain ?

    2. edgar

      this DODIRTY has no place in a civilized world of human rights and due process of law.

  19. Boy Pinoy

    Tal pueblo, tal gobierno….. Rizal

  20. Jimm Solomon

    None of the accusation had been proven right? If its true why there no action have been taken against him? Please follow the journalism basic rules before you write something. The reason why there is no freedom of speech is because you guys just simply write anything you want without any true fact. If really indeed that he kill why why no charge against him in the court of law.

  21. Andoni Valencia

    Mr. Tiglao, sometimes goes overboard with his accusations on Duterte. Sometimes it borders into a fairytale projecting Duterte as a Dictator-Killer.

    We can understand this behaviors because he has his own biases and he might be even supporting a different presidential candidate.

    No amount of black propaganda will put a good man down. Duterte for President!

    1. willy buen

      Among the candidate, only binay was not among his watch list he even pity the man bcoz he was publicly persecuted charge but no court trial of CORRUPTION maybe he is promised a position in the cabinet if binay wins

  22. omiliit

    OA ka naman.. im also a christian… but among the candidates he’s the better choice… this is not about who is more righteous because all of us are not.. if he’s a sinner it’s his dwell with the Lord not ours, we do not have the right to judge… what’s important is what’s in his heart… among the candidates he has the heart.. We are here to judge what he can do for the government and its people… according to his track record he has done a lot for the many…

    1. jaime o.de vera

      Let’s analyze Mayor Duterte’s behavior because MORE OFTEN THAN NOT BEHAVIOR DOES NOT LIE, such as:
      -Bad-mouthing, cussing words / expletives against Pope Francis
      -Immorality having 2 wives, 2 girl friends, unashamedly kissing women in public w/ complete media coverage (TV,radio,print)
      -Crass/gutter language disgracefully / insanely uttered to an Australian Lay Missionary who was murdered & a rape victim (dapat ang mayor ang na una …)
      -Killing not only 700 but 1,700 suspected criminals without due process guaranteed under our constitution& its laws, lawyer pa naman
      -Dr. Natividad Dayan’s clinical findings (former Pres of the Int’l Council of Psychologists), he is suffering from Anti-Social Narcissistic Personality Disorder, otherwise known as Psychopathy now being reflected in his behavior (as I said earlier, behavior does not lie)

    2. jo

      Is there more better than Miriam Santiago, an anti-corruption advocate and intelligent leader? What has happened to people of the Philippines?

  23. arnel

    I am from Gensan. although police efforts are established here in our city to thwart crimes but we are the very witness if we compare the atmosphere of governance here from Davao City under the leadership of Duterte. That’s why we keep on going to Davao for vacationing coz it offers different peace and order in Davao. We just feel safe. As simple reason as that. Its the whole truth running beyond Davao City… maybe to the whole Mindanao.

  24. Eduardo B. Emia

    Describing Duterte as a beast is not new to us, he is a beast with a heart to the poor like us, how about Abnoy how you describe him?, pocketing billions of yolanda funds with his cohorts Mar Roxas and DSWD Queen Pinky Soliman, the killing of the SAF 44 in Mamasapano in pursuit of the US$5M reward of Marwan dead or alive and just recently the Kidapawan Massacre that killed 3 hungry farmers and injured more than a dozen innocent hungry farmers that begged foods but were killed by the our very own policemen that supposed to secure their lives but instead slaughtered them to glorify Abnoy. Now who is the Beast?, Duterte who killed criminals, drug pushers and drug addicts or a goverment who killed hungry farmers?, that pocketed the funds of yolanda that make the typhoon victims life miserable?, how about the lives of the SAF 44 that sacrificed their lives for the seek of the country but never given any assistance from the AFP not even a single chopper was sent to resue them, but Kris Aquno allowed to use the Presidential chopper in helping campaigning for Roxas’ campaign sorties. I know you are not blind and deaf to this fact but your pen judged my President Duterte as beast, your Abnoy is clothed in sheep’s clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

  25. Skimoo Gamut

    Please tell us how to solve corruptions, criminality and illegal drugs, if you can’t, then let us vote for Duterte.

  26. Rudi Miranda

    Xn values? The Filipinos never had one because, if we have these values the nation won’t be where we are now, corrupt. If there are Xn values in the Filipino it would make Duterte obsolete and ignored.

    Duterte is not only Digong, it is a movement,

    in fact, it is an organism where it has a life of its own to progress and development. All provincial conventions were done by the local people without the presence of people (cadres) from Davao City. All groupings are autonomous. Funds are autonomously raised by the groups through contributions, selling old newspapers, bottles, tin cans, etc. In fact, poll watchers are told to bring their own baon.

    Perhaps it will surprise Saul Alinsky of said organizing phenomenon.

    It is a post-modern mix of everything crazy, bizarre, stupid, and yet sacred.

    The spirit of the ‘movement’ I believe calls for a gradual change to free the individual from the oppressive laws and social constraints of the modern state.

  27. Girlie Bebbeb

    Sana, manalo sila Grace Poe at BongBong Marcos for the sake of the country’s future and these two have more decency to face the world.

    1. sherwin

      she will be a puppet once elected. it will be much better to give the philippines to the US.


      Why insist on somebody who just wants to continue what her late father failed to finish – which is another action box office king movie….and furthermore, undermining the presidency by insisting an American as a president of the Philippines?

  28. asi are

    Mr tiglao I for one in millions was not swayed in d rally because of d band nor be swayed by Caytano as you implied as he did dirty propaganda to tricked people.The truth of the matter is most of the votes esp. in ABC class are ANGRY votes for d traditional politician who mostly belonged to old names(aquino roxas etc)who have gift of sweet tongues and finese but did NOTHING to our country but only served their interests NOT for the people they swear to serve.Many who joined Dutertes are people who also revolt the EDSA revolution which I myself did.Filipinos are forgiving and very tolerant people but we are all tired of incompetencies of our govt.DUTERTE IS ONLY OUR OPTION FOR THE FUTURE!

  29. RexO

    So, why don’t you say it and make a case for Binay. Evidently, you don’t like Duterte, Poe or Roxas. While he has not succeeded in everything, are you sure Binay will surpass PNoy’s accomplishments?

  30. Joseph

    Duterte is no Estrada the convicted plunderer. Duterte has the legacy of good governance unlike other politicians who corrupted the peoples money. Davao City is not manila wherein criminals can go freely victimizing innocent law abiding citizens with their hard earned money. Your analogy Mr. Tiglao is absurd by comparing Duterte to Estrada and the more never say that Duterte is the Mindanao oligarch’s choice for presidency. He (Duterte) did not accept or receive bribes from unscrupulous individuals and businessmen. Duterte is Duterte and can never be like Estrada.

  31. Daniel Ali

    Philippines is a country of, for and by the people handed over to the oligarchs.

  32. Venancio

    The only difference with your elite and oligarchy backed Presidential candidacies, the NPA and the Muslim secessionist organizations are unanimous for Digong and it is good. That’s is the very reason he will be victorious.

  33. carlitos

    Pinoys have not always been good at analyzing and choosing their presidents. There was Marcos, for example, who many thought was an ‘intelligent man’, a good orator. There was Erap who, many thought, was simple, straightforward, and was ‘for the poor’. Then, there’s Pnoy/Abnoy, who, according to many, is anyway not a thief and not corrupt. Obviously, his ignorance, his bitterness and his inability to empathize, to use common-sense, etc. shows that his leadership is, like the others before him, empty, divisive and one that led to impoverishing the pinoys even more.
    Now, there’s Digong “the punisher” Duterte! According to the usual simplistic reasoning, he ‘solves our problems quick by killing the drug-dealers, and punishing the ineffective.’ Uh-oh, I’m afraid the country’s going down the drain even further.
    Good luck Philippines!

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