THE political opposition most likely rejoiced over President Duterte’s veto last week of Congress’ purported “anti-endo” bill, as it gave them ammunition in their propaganda that he is “anti-people,” the communists’ formulaic allegation against him.
For the fast-vanishing Yellows, it is another instance of Duterte failing to fulfill his election promises.
One thing though that everyone, even his critics, would agree to is that contrary to academically pretentious claims by commentators who have struggled to explain away his popularity, Duterte isn’t a populist, or one who merely plays to the gallery, or who throws bounties to the masses, even if its economic consequences would make their situation worse.
This is a president who listens to his economic officials’ assessments and advice, and who understands that the nation has an economic base with its laws and dynamics, which the political leadership cannot just ignore. He makes decisions even if these would be unpopular, at least in the short term.
Without a doubt, Duterte has strengthened the business sector’s support for him in his veto of the “anti-endo” bill.