What separates President Duterte from all the other President’s the Philippines has ever had is true leadership.
The fact is, Rodrigo Duterte – the simple mayor from Davao City – has always been able to make people around him perform at their highest levels. Duterte inspires, scares, motivates, and by whatever means necessary lifts his people up to levels that they themselves might never have thought possible. And this, quite simply, is the mark of genuine leadership.
Even when he was mayor of Davao, Duterte was always the leader. Never the manager. Which is why he surrounded himself with people he could trust to follow his vision for the community. And it was their job to implement the city’s programs for the people. The mayor’s responsibility was to make sure they had the necessary support to do their work properly. And the motivation to not fuck up unless they wanted to be hanged by their balls.
And this system worked very well. While the rest of the country went to hell from 1986 to the 2000’s, Davao City bucked the trend and became peaceful, progressive, and was seen as a model city. All because of Duterte and his excellent team of administrators.
At the start of his term, President Duterte had already made it clear that he was going to run the country the same way he ran Davao City. He was going to lead, and let his people do the managing. From the economy to defense to foreign affairs, to legislation and judicial issues – he was never going to dip his fingers into these like his predecessors. He trusted others to do the right thing but came down like a landslide on those who betrayed his trust.
People like Bong Go, Bato Dela Rosa, Alan Peter Cayetano, Mark Villar, Art Tugade, Sonny Dominguez, Vince Dizon, Lililing Briones, Martin Andanar, and many more men and women in government are better because they are part of Team Duterte. Individual failings aside, collectively they play a huge part in the success of this administration enjoys.
Now, almost 4 years into his presidency and Duterte is still going strong. Stronger in fact. 87% of Filipinos approve of how he runs the country. And this is BEFORE he publicly bitched slapped those billionaires into giving up their claim to Php 11 billion pesos in unearned income.
So for those in the opposition who are still dreaming of regaining lost privileges, here’s some hard reality for you – you are done. Nobody wants you or your empty brand of politics anymore. The days when you can win with a known family name and a ton of cash is fast coming to an end. And it couldn’t come faster.