If We Shall Welcome (?) the Iron Fists

Duterte and Marcos are currently leading the partial, unofficial tally of the national elections. News about the elections is all over social media, and television, that it’s almost impossible to miss an update, especially this aformentioned update.

Personally, I’m strongly against these two leading candidates. If someone would ask me to rank the presidentiables and vice-presidentiables, with 1 being the most favorable, I would rank both Marcos and Duterte, last. All of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates are obviously very competent. They all have excellent credentials, and the Internet is flooding with a myriad of legitimate sources to support this. We can choose anyone, and we can be quite sure that they all would and should get the necessary jobs done. But we all have core values that we want to protect, and we will consequently not choose any candidates who invalidated these core values during their lifetime. Individual disposition may transition through time and experience, but moral choices don’t. If a person killed or ordered someone to kill, in order to achieve something some time during his life, he will likely make the similar choices again. He will kill for total peace and order. He will steal lives from people and deny them the possiblities of the future. He will disrespect written systems. He will trivialize rape, and women. Life and equality, are two of the significant core values that I protect and knowing that Duterte once stepped on these core values is enough for me to expose my opposition against him and his candidacy. His popularity across all age demographs is terrifying, but unsurprising because his suave quips are admittedly appealing to the mass. But his neutralizing choices outweigh his charm. He chose to disregard the Philippine rule of law in his city. He chose to normalize rape and women, by propagating more rape jokes. He chose to be unreasonably blunt, by throwing away offensive tirages to some people and some sectors of the society, only to apologize for those statements afterwards. He chose to be inconsistent rather than careful, and this is important because when you’re the president, your orders and statements quickly translate into action.

On the other hand, Marcos, still continues to deny the allegations thrown to him and his family. He refuses to return the ill-gotten wealth they accumulated from the country. He refuses, along with his family members, to be held accountable and responsible for the lives of the familes who’ve lost a lot during the dictatorship. If he denies this obvious truth, then what more can we expect from his leadership? If militants will decry about low income, will he deny this also, when the snake is already visibly on his face?

But Duterte and Marcos are winning. It is already palpable during pre-election days, especially throughout social media. Duterte supporters and Marcos apologists would post data and figures and cite sources that are questionable in credibility. Supporter of other candidates do this too, of course. But it is alarming that even when some sources, especially ones that are hitched with Marcos and Duterte, are obviously unreliable, the posts would still garner thousands of likes and shares. People are quickly deceived and fooled by fallacies and word plays. Marcos and Duterte are showcased as god-like entities in social media who would carry out utopia to this country. The usual card their supporters would make is that Marcos/Duterte would deteriorate/lessen criminality in the country. This is more usual for Duterte supporters. Some Marcos supporters would also draw this card, suggesting that Marcos would soldier on the infamous Martial Law exploits of his deposed father. Criminality is an important issue, but there are still many national issues that Duterte’s platform is missing. It seems that more weight is put on handling criminality than the other issues, when all issues should be placed into equal attention.

If Marcos and Duterte wins, I hope that they would choose advisers and administration members who will really help them take a balanced stance on national issues. If Marcos and Duterte wins, ¬†then good for them. I will continue to be a responsible citizen who obeys the law and respects it. I will continue to be a vigilant citizen who will complain when my leaders fuck up, steal, and fail to be a leader. I will carry on complaining, when under their leadership, farmers remain landless, citizens remain jobless, incomes remain unreasonable, transportations remain inconvenient, and laws remain flimsy. And whether I support their choices or not, I will be one the million citizens that will help them in putting this country together, because no Messiah can ever fix us in a snap. It is solely through collective action can this country’s growth be possible.

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