The making of a president


The president wears a prestigious crown. The protocol, the linguistics, circumlocution are intimidating at first, but then becomes a second language.  There is something about the aura of president that makes everyone behave in a reverential manner.

Everyone, including his innermost circle, which consists of lifetime friends ceases to perceive him in high respect.

This man, among men talks to you with his mental fly unbuttoned. He has sedulously cultivated the “astig-tigasin” style, but one suspects the bristles on the surface do not go all the way down.

He comes from a good family and went to the right schools. This character sometimes talks like a stevedore when unnecessarily provoked.  From his early political campaigns, he was already startling the nation with his high leaps and fast pace, with his general air of roughness, toughness, vitality. He seemed to be a new kind of politician — far from the gentility of the old school, elegantly eloquent and impervious, rather than a jaded man of the new world.  His strenuous style to this day is more affectionate than accurate.

He seemed to be the new kind of politician, a brute hurtling through a wasteland of old world elegance of suave, and grand manners that no longer awed the community. What used to be the valued gentility of the old school political aristocrats, courtly and polished were rudely rapped by the rowdy new age of Rodrigo Duterte as legends sprang up about his virility; his physical courage has been equally blazoned.  He has displayed the common touch which is so endearing to the masses.

Not famous for humility, what he said was not exactly what he meant. He merely considers himself as better than any other presidential candidate, he know that his name had a potent appeal throughout the archipelago, found out that it’s not the political parties that matter, but family factions. He even noted that in some places, during the presidential campaign, both the rival faction wanted him.

In Davao, we’re told as the mayor, he held meetings in a cockpit. If there were no microphones he would tell the crowd, “To hell with speeches, let’s just get some tuba and let us just drink instead.” So they sat down and got  drunk, and all his meetings were successful.

In cities, old folks who could no longer walk carried themselves from far away barrios, because they wanted to see him before they died. There so many touching incidents when he was mayor that proved him right in deciding to run for president.

Undoubtedly, he was a crowd drawer. He held an impressive record as the mayor of Davao City, as the city accumulated a public indebtedness that ran into millions. Within three years, he had paid of more than half of its debts, and left the city, completely liquidated.

He is said to be the first mayor to buy some order into the monuments of the city’s inhabitants. He has succeeded in making them cross streets only at proper points and has forced them to behave more decorously in public, belying the fact those who think of him as just another rabble douser. What comes to mind now among his constituents is that he has been fearlessly fighting the high and the mighty, and he has no less incurred the wrath of squatter, drivers and pedestrian.  Only history can say how his administration, through able and efficient, have been imaginative enough…and that he was by far, a great executive, now as the president, the man’s character exudes the same traits governing.

Not the president one had hoped for, but a president the country needs. A man of action, rather than vision and President Duterte seems to have the advantage over the other presidents, of being able to display some fruits of his ability as an executive.

He is known, he is familiar, people still think of him as young and his actuations are vigorous with youth. Age has not withered nor stalled his infinite profanity, and even his admirers will argue that his face looks far from new.

It is, on the other hand, a face that’s news!

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