DAVAO CITY, May 9, 2017 — President Rodrigo
There are many emotional and intellectual keepsakes from 2016 but these five are the most poignant to me and moreso because they came by way of a Duterte presidency.
1) People who refuse to see any good in a Duterte presidency are hiding a festering evil within them. Being critical of a government and its chief executive is one thing. It is quite another to be blind to the strides and successes in the peace talks with the left, DSWD, health care and medication for the poor, free tuition in SUCs, housing for Yolanda victims, DPWH, drop in crime, rise in GDP, averting war with China, and waging war with the drug trade.
2) Mainstream media can no longer be given a blanket trust. Both local and international news organizations have revealed that they are propaganda machines of one political party and one foreign country bent on destabilizing our democracy. They have also consistently proven that they are incapable of basic journalistic practices like investigation, verification and balance in reports.
3) Social media is the new political battlefield. Voters and citizens are slowly disengaging from traditional media and becoming vigilant and engaged netizens. Scholars, analysts, pundits, icons and influencers battle it out on the internet- blog vs blog, page vs page, post vs post, tweet vs tweet. Phalanxes of trolls are launched against other trolls in counter formation. This is where information and disinformation now begins and ends.
4) People who claim to be decent, more often than not are not to be trusted. Whether it is your ex-boyfriend or cabinet secretary, the façade of decency is oftentimes nothing but that, a cover. Once that is lifted, all the raging insecurity, inauthenticity and incapability violently spills out. The only way to deal with them is to remove them immediately from your frame of existence and view of the world.
5) Contrarily, people who seem difficult, rude and even scary are sometimes the most sincere and genuine. Humanity comes in a broad spectrum of personalities. Until we have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes we will never know who they are and what they are going through. Truthfully, even then, we may still never fully understand them. Be open to surprise and wonder. Our diversity should be celebrated, not stifled.
2017 looms in the horizon, both lovely and dark. It is waiting for us to cross its threshold and take charge.
To the new and exciting challenges, hello.
To the tired and burdensome baggages, goodbye and good riddance.