By Hector R. R. Villanueva
“I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.”
— William Ernest Hensley
We saw it coming but we chose to ignore it and opted to bury our heads in the sand.
From the beginning of his administration, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte had exhibited an authoritarian streak, and got away with it, which has been good for the country even if his methodology and delivery may lack finesse and fine tuning.
With his approval ratings and popularity at an awesome level, Pres. Digong Duterte is riding high, and he knows it, to the extent that he may be acting like a “dictator” in order to get things done, and with expeditiousness.
In a manner of speaking, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte is a one man governance with Cabinet members and bureau heads scrambling to obey and hear their Master’s voice.
The Duterte administration has been a unique, unpredictable, and iconoclastic regime in which the Chief Executive, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte, acts decisively, extemporaneously, and swiftly, and he lets his lawyers and bureaucrats legitimize and justify his acts in the national interest.
In this regard, a few outstanding examples of Pres. Duterte’s swift and decisive actions are worth mentioning, such as, illegal mining; threat of closing PAL’s Terminal 2 if PAL does not settle its airport obligations; order to ban tourists from going to Boracay and closure of establishments if the sewage and garbage problem is not solved quickly; expedited the return of Mile Long to the government; and dismissed and abrogated a service contract of cargo handling for allowing pilferage of OFW boxes.
Similarly, Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte has initiated bureau-wide purging of officials for various offenses and malpractices while continuing the administration’s war on illegal drug trafficking, corruption, and criminality.
Over all, the majority of the population, especially the OFWs, adore and fully support DU30 as evidenced by Pres. Duterte’s consistently high trust and approval ratings.
On the other hand, Cabinet members and presidential appointees are totally intimidated and petrified into passivity, politically correct decisions, and excessive caution.
However, businessmen, in particular, Chinoy taipans and tycoons, are supportive of the President as they are witnessing better public service, and less harassment and shakedowns.
In conclusion, the country continues to enjoy a democratic space despite of martial law in Mindanao, increasing militarization and creeping authoritarian tendencies short of declaring a revolutionary government and dictatorship.
When all is said and done, the masses love what Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte is doing, and will continue to support him as long as the President remains seemly incorruptible and pro-poor.
You be the judge.