While we do not agree with everything that President-elect Duterte says, we do share his opinion that these are things that need to be said. Seeds of change cannot take root on barren soil. The complacency of the people with the established order must first be uprooted like weeds to allow new ideas to grow.
And like a plow ripping across the hard-packed earth, Duterte’s attacks against the leaders of the Catholic church and the media-elite force the Filipino people to question long-held beliefs about these so-called pillars of truth and virtue.
Whether you agree with him or not, it cannot be denied that he has widened the horizons of public discourse into topics that in the past were only spoken of in whispers. And even if in the process he has taken the brunt of counter-attacks, he has shown equanimity and fortitude in staying this rough and dangerous course.
But then again, even during the campaign Duterte has always declared that he will do what he has must, and his life and the Presidency be damned. These qualities, which some find shocking in the context of our old-style “pa-pogi” politicians, is just what the country needs to shake and break our rotting social order.
Once we get past the self-righteous outrage, we can see that we do need to hear what Duterte has to say. We have to remember that he was not elected to coddle us and sing us lullabies while the country burns to the ground. People chose Duterte because he is as angry as they are.
Finally we have a President that makes us move and take part in the national dialogue on what role these institutions play in public life and governance. With a few choice words, Duterte has done more to open our eyes to the reality of the abuse that we face everyday than the previous administrations has after years of being in power.