By Hector R. R. Villanueva
“For the forms of government let fools contest; whate’er is best administered is best.”
— Alexander Pope
Former President Benigno Aquino III will be remembered for the Mamasapano Tragedy and the banning of “wang wang” in private vehicles.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be remembered for his ardent advocacy of federalism and constitutional revision. When these fundamental changes will materialize and be implemented is the monumental question.
Will the nation and the Filipino People see the fruition of federalism within the presidential tenure of DU30?
From where we are perched, we see many successful minor changes and a plethora of unfinished business and work-in-progress of long gestation and uncertain future.
On one hand, there have been notable accomplishments in Pres. Duterte’s relentless drive for reforms.
Illegal drug trafficking has been substantially suppressed and thousands of drug peddlers have been killed and drug addicts rounded up.
The crime index, from rape to burglaries, extortion, heinous crimes, has steadily declined.
For fear of being fired, even for excessive travel on taxpayers’ money, endemic corruption in the public sector has visibly declined in terms of extortion, bribery, shakedowns, and influence peddling.
Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte has jump-started the modernization of the Armed Forces and raised the income levels of workers and public servants. Thus, with his uncompromising war on drugs, and formulation of an independent foreign policy by reaching out to other countries, Pres. Duterte has generated a wholesome and respected image for the Philippines.
On the other hand, the challenges and issues that Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte has chosen for himself are either unwinnable or uncontrollable, are of long gestation such as illegal drugs, endemic corruption, criminality, Communist insurgency, Muslim separatism, oligarchic resistance, congressional opposition, and civil militancy.
At the end of the day, if federalism and constitutional reforms do not materialize, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte will be left with a host of unfinished business, as noted above, and will be remembered by the Filipino people for his expletives and vulgar language.
When all is said done, in the near future, there will be no president like President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
With so many challenges, Pres. Duterte has to choose the legacy that he will be remembered for, for generations to come.
You be the judge.