Sunday, October 2, 2016

How to live with Duterte

It is a given this Ah Beng President cannot be anything else but Ah Beng. The Filipinos love him and they have every right and privilege to do so but how do other countries learn to live with him successfully? He has no manners, he doesn't use language in ways that is acceptable. We don't understand him and so cannot fathom his intentions.

I think it is best never to take him at his word and let his interlocutors explain how his words ought to be taken after the heat of the moment when words are exchanged more calmly.

Personally I do not think he will be a successful President and the way for a foreigner to find out is simply wait for time to tell. Whatever he had learned to do well for Davao he might be able to repeat that across the archipelago more successfully that Aquino e.g., fighting crime. Beyond that he is clueless. Running a country is very different from running a small city. Just look west at India and witness how hard it is for Modi to get anything done as the PM than when he was just running a province. He could also look south and see how difficult it is for Jokowi to achieve results as mayor of a big city vis a vis on a national scale.

Lao Zi explained why Duterte would fail in the end. Like the more studied and so better known Trump, Duterte is not a master of his own character. In time his enemies and foreign governments will study and understand his character and know exactly the buttons to push to get the response needed from him to manipulate him. This guy in many ways is the Asian version of the American Trump. As they bait Trump, so if they even bother or is keen to bait Duterte. This movie is still being played and it is difficult to see how in the end the Philippines will be better than when Rodrigo Duterte took office. Something tells me I am putting this too mildly as well.


  1. I wonder the elites or the masses will get to him first. A matter of time the war on drugs would get him as well.

    1. I am fairly confident that it will not end well for him and sadly for the Philippines as well.

      Would he ever publicly insult Xi Jinping some day and if the Chinese did not censor those insults then he will get a taste of Chinese retribution.

      A leader must be able to control his tongue or lose control of his life and country. That is basic and true even for regular folks.