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He Comes to Distract and Destroy

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on June 25, 2018 22:51

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The verbal assaults against the Catholic Church, women and those who opposed Rodrigo Duterte are only a distraction from the real destruction from within — government incompetence and a sinking economy.

Like the biblical prototype, Rodrigo Duterte has come to distract and destroy. He does the former with arrogance and the latter with impunity.   

So far, over 20,000 have been killed in his notorious campaign against illegal narcotics. Added to that are the intimidation and threats against democracy and free speech. Factor in the sinking of the economy, low business confidence and high inflation rate. Then there is currency devaluation — the Philippine peso is the weakest in the region.  

Democratic institutions have weakened. Duterte removed the chief justice, attacked the Office of the Ombudsman and filled his cabinet with incompetent and corrupt officials. He used his powerful office to form a coalition of politicos who agree to all he said. His supporters have even displayed the willingness to go beyond reason as they seek to defend his indefensible behaviour and brazen statements.

Duterte has shown us how to destroy a country’s image that took six years to build in less than a year. A small nation that fought a behemoth in a landmark case two years ago is now a puppet of China. And it will take a long time to reverse the perception that the Philippines is Duterte’s killing field.

Now on Duterte as a master of distraction. He utters controversial statements to divert public attention from reality. A misogynist of a president, he picks quarrels with women. He slut-shamed and detained a senator and removed the chief justice from office. He hurled insults against the country’s vice president and ordered shooting women in their genitals among others.  

He launched verbal attacks against the Catholic Church maligning clerics critical of his human rights record. Recently, he mocked the teachings of the church and called the object of their worship 'stupid God.'

A leader of sound mind and judgment would not go this far of insulting the faith of his people. Calling God stupid is indefensible to Christians who take their faith to heart. They entrust their present life and afterlife to the theology of a caring God. For a president to discredit that is an aberration.

Even if you were an atheist leading a democratic state, you do not alienate a people by insulting their beliefs. The Philippines is a nation of faiths and cultures. Protecting that diversity is the president’s duty.

But all this are a distraction to sway the people’s attention from the real issues. The Filipinos are facing their daily struggles of putting food on the table. We have the highest inflation rate in over a decade, and our currency is the weakest in Southeast Asia. Prices of consumer goods are high so does the unemployment rate, getting higher by the day. Economic instability paired with gross incompetence is the real issue.

Duterte must not conceal the state of the country with his antics. Employing a God-talk is not the answer to fix the problems. It is not God who is stupid. As Bill Clinton said, "It’s the economy, stupid."

Kelvene Requiroso

Posted on June 25, 2018 22:51

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