Published December 14, 2018, 12:04 AM

by Charissa Luci-Atienza & Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat



“One should look long and carefully at oneself before one considers judging others.” — Moliere

By Hector R. R. Villanueva
Hector R. R. Villanueva

At a recent public appearance with local officials, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte was again at full throttle cussing at religious leaders and the clergy, and the uncalled — for remarks were irrelevant to the theme of meeting.

From the TV footage, it was observed that the impassive audience and captive listeners were neither amused nor shocked nor awed by the President’s customary tirades and vulgarity since if you have heard him once, you have heard them all before.

The President’s scathing remarks and colorful expletives were meant to endear him to the masses, but the rest of the country thinks his behavior and undistilled remarks are grossly unpresidential and crude.

It is therefore mystifying why President Duterte remains recalcitrant and unforgiving on human rights advocates, clergymen, and critics of his methodology and morbidity.

President Duterte tends to declare war on anybody and in all fronts, and gives vent to his vitriolic outrages on opposition sectors that oppose his administration, thus silencing democratic voices.

As Edmund Burke once wrote, “No passion so robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear,” which prompts the question whether PDU30 suffers from insecurity, ill health, or doubt?

Nonetheless, President Digong Duterte has achieved considerable success against the unwinnable war against drug trafficking and corruption in the bureaucracy.

Moreover, the President remains, with his idiosyncrasies and foibles, a refreshing maverick game changer who seeks to achieve for the nation what he had accomplished for Davao City as its fighting mayor for two decades.

On the other hand, with Charter Change up in the air, federalism in limbo; the death penalty in the backburner; the TRAIN Law likely to be derailed, and the war against drug trafficking and corruption seemly unwinnable and endless, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte needs to decide whether he wants to be a firm democrat or an unbinding autocrat who must be a visionary, peacemaker, unifier, and sagacious.

Additionally, the bottom line is that President Duterte must achieve a lasting peace with brother Muslims, and injustice is the major cause of sustained insurgency.

One may be destined for the presidency but greatness is elusive and must be earned.

This is the challenge of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

You be the judge.