How did it get so bad there in the Philippines? It seemed like she was doing so well.
I wouldn’t say that we were doing well, it’s always been bad, it just got… worse.
But back to your question. How did we get to this moment? How did we let things get so bad that we can’t even trust the people who’s literal job is to protect us?
That’s easy. 16 million people voted for the man that made all of this happen.
Why? You might ask. Why would anyone vote for a man that takes pride in murdering people?
To answer that question we’ll need to go back to approximately one year ago, the 2016 presidential elections.
Now this man wasn’t like other candidates. He had a modest lifestyle, he doesn’t have a big house or fancy cars, nor did he go to the US to study. He cursed every chance he’d get and used brash language. He hated corrupt people with every fiber of his being and he hated China’s bullying. And the people? The people loved this image of a humble man who talked like them and did the same things as them. Finally, they said. A president who knows what it feels like to be poor!
His achievements on the other hand, consisted solely of one thing:
Davao is like the Singapore of the Philippines! Is what everyone would say when you’d ask. Under his leadership for over 20 years, Davao prides itself in it’s disciplined people and a task force that can compete with America’s 911 system. People can walk in Davao at the dead of the night without fearing getting mugged as the city also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country, as well as having a strong anti-drug campaign, which is one of the biggest problems of the Philippines.
And that’s all thanks to him.
The people imagined dirty, smelly, Manila turning into what it used to be: the Paris of Asia. They imagined streets free of litter, criminals and drug addicts behind bars, and the police doing what they’re paid to do.
They looked at Davao and imagined what Manila could be if he was president. They kept thinking about his tagline: I can eradicate all crime and drugs in this country in 3-6 months.
They imagined someone finally talking back to China. Telling them that the island they keep on claiming is ours. Telling them to stop the bullying and to let us be.
Then they fell in love with him more.
And as the election season dragged on, the more he revealed his true colors.
- He made rape jokes.
- He always says misogynistic remarks.
- He confessed to murdering people.
- He got in trouble when he was in law school because he pointed a gun at a classmate.
- He doesn’t have a coherent platform for the country except for killing people who do drugs.
- He hates corruption but he’s friends with the two most corrupt people in he country: The son of the late dictator, and a president who was impeached.
But people didn’t care! They say he’s just joking! He’s always joking. Stop taking what he says so literally. It’s not important if he wants to kill people, as long as the he’s going to fix the country in 3-6 months.
So he won.
And the moment he sat in the presidents seat, he turned his back on everything he’s said.
- He said that 3-6 months isn’t doable. That there will always be crimes in Manila and he can’t stop that.
- He released the former president who plundered billions of pesos from the government.
- He buried the former dictator in the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Grave for Heroes), a cemetery reserved for people who fought for the country. He buried a dictator next to the people that fought his regime 20 years ago.
- He hired an under qualified actress who spread fake propaganda as his Presidential Communications Secretary.
- He still makes rape jokes.
- His son is involved in a 6 billion worth drug smuggling case.
- He replaced his cabinet with his corrupt friends.
- He let China keep on patrolling the island that they want. Mingles with Chinese officials and is friendly with them.
- Says he’ll never declare Martial Law, but announced that he might declare it next week.
Then Davao. Perfect Davao. The city which everyone dreamed Manila would be, revealed everything that it’s been hiding.
That the Davao Death Squad is real and they really do kill a lot of people and everyone’s afraid of them. That Davao has actually one of the top crime rates in the country. That even though a lot of people there feel safe, most feel the opposite.
That the only thing that he kept his promise on is killing people.
But the people don’t care. Because he curses, and jokes, and he’s real.
And that’s what’s important, right?