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If Duterte wins

RRoy’siPadIf Duterte wins
Ronald Roy — May 3, 2016

As election day nears, most voters already know whom to vote for, and only an extraordinary event (force majeure or fortuitous), can change their minds. Expect those who trail in the voter preference polls to be praying for such an event to happen — one which US Democratic Party presidential candidate Harry S.Truman, e.g., had not foreseen.

Seeking reelection in 1948, President Truman had been given up for “lost”. Days before voting day, he had started to pack his things, making certain the White House would be ready for a turnover to his successor, spic and span. And not a few Americans shed tears as they saw him looking so sad packing his personal belongings.

Sympathy votes
But then, he became the beneficiary of a “shock win”, an event which a prominent political analyst said was the result of sympathy votes pouring in for “such a good and decent man”, who had ended the 2nd World War by ordering on April 12, 1945 a devastating atomic bomb to be dropped each on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Well, that shock win was some 70 years ago, but it is not unlikely that some of our trailing candidates are praying for “a Truman”. And why not? Decades ago, when senatorial bet Gaudencio Antonino perished in a helicopter crash barely a week before election day, his wife Magnolia(+) ran as his substitute and won handily.

Also, as of this writing, vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo, the wife of the fallen DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, who was posthumously developed as a hero by Pres. Aquino, has done the “impossible” by statistically tying Bong Bong Marcos for first in the major surveys.

Personality elections
Back in 1946, we used the American two-party type of elections by juxtaposing the Nacionalista Party and the Liberal Party as the two major parties. Each party brandished a distinct platform of government in vying for political leadership. Generally, the voters then looked at the contending platforms, not at the “personalities” of the candidates, in making their choices.

Well, the ensuing years have seen us evolving to be what we now are: personality-focused. One only needs to see the array of elected boors and clowns who have made sinecures out of their public positions. However, a “personality vote” is not necessarily a bad choice. American cinema actor Ronald Reagan confirmed this when he became the president of the strongest nation in the planet.

Essentially, a head of state must have a strong personality. You see him and hear him (or her), and immediately you see him as a leader who commands your respect and offers a path for a better life. So then, we now ask: Who among the personalities running for president will most likely win in the view of the general masses?

Answer: Rodrigo Duterte (RD), i.e., until Sen. Sonny Trillianes exposed his Bank of Philippine Islands accounts totaling P 211M, followed by more exposès of his alleged hidden wealth amounting to P 2.4 B in bank transactions, along with a vow that he would initiate an impeachment complaint against RD if he won.

The hoi polloi
Until the exposès, Duterte appeared to be holding sway with great truculence as he sprinted toward the finish line, and there were very strong reasons for this. He has a personality deemed strong by the masses, otherwise called the hoi polloi. He looks like them, and dresses, walks, talks and cusses like them. And: with a passion, he hates crime, corruption and drugs. So do they. Yes, the hoi polloi are his power base.

The crude and foulmouthed gunman with a self-confessed track record of serial murder and other human rights violations dares to represent us on the world stage. As he has threatened, he might just cause severance of diplomatic ties with traditional allies, thereby compromising our trade relations, or plunging us into global isolation, if not into armed conflicts with other nations.

Occupy Luneta
Well, I’ve got it on good authority from the intelligence community that Duterte’s camp (RDC), desperate because of the exposès, will on May 7 or earlier, occupy Luneta Park till after the elections, the idea being to produce a festive mood indicating that his victory was an absolute certainly even before conclusion of the elections, thereby goading his voters to ignore the exposès and not to abandon him.

The whole strategy is immature and asinine, and it will never work. Instead, the RDC must realize that when Duterte threatened to cut diplomatic relations with America and Australia, he showed himself up not only as a danger to his country’s national security, but also as a menace to world peace. The mayor has thus placed his life in jeopardy.

Duterte and his supporters should also realize that an assassination or coup would be too unwelcome a price for their adventurism. Verily, we may yet witness a national catastrophe if Duterte wins.

09186449517 ronald8roy@yahoo . com musingsbyroy.wordpress.com @ronald8roy

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