Author Topic: The puzzling appeal of President Duterte’s ill-mannered projection of power  (Read 406 times)

adroth

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The puzzling appeal of President Duterte’s ill-mannered projection of power
BY RACHEL A.G. REYES, TMT
SEPTEMBER 13, 2016 OP-ED COLUMNS

http://www.manilatimes.net/the-puzzling-appeal-of-president-dutertes-ill-mannered-projection-of-power-2/285469/

It is no exaggeration to say that the world is by turns aghast, appalled and enthralled by President Rodrigo Duterte. Unless the country is ravaged by a supertyphoon, the Philippines rarely receives this much international media attention. From agreeing to a hero’s burial for a dictator kleptocrat, promising to eradicate drugs in six months by killing pushers and addicts alike, and the running total is tipping over 2,000 murders, to calling President Barack Obama a “son of a whore.” Mr. Duterte, just in terms of sheer newsworthiness, is a gift that keeps on giving.

It is clear that none of his speechwriters, no member of his communications team, or his spokesperson, can rein him in and prevent his incredible tirades, that is, if they are actually trying to. The man will not simply divert and digress from his prepared speeches. He will not only resort to hyperbole and bluster. He does not simply speak what is in his heart and mind. He fumes.

He uses words that are intended to hurt, offend, abuse and insult. His deplorable attacks against Senator Leila de Lima, one of his harshest critics, accusing her of immorality and conspiring with drug dealers, come from a very dark place. Of similar provenance are the jokes that he cracks which culminate in sickeningly misogynistic punchlines. He insinuates, he maligns. Then back tracks. His words, he says, were not meant to be taken seriously. He shrugs his shoulders and denies that he was being personal. He blames local journalists for misquoting him and scorns the foreign press for making ill informed judgments about the country. Vulgarity and debasing the language of diplomacy and political rhetoric are looking like the Duterte presidential hallmark.

But just how important is verbal politesse and political eloquence, anyway, when a President is getting things done? Surely, as many argue, a cussing President who thinks nothing of puerile name-calling, is a paltry price to pay if concrete changes for the greater good are being made and promises kept? Moreover, to many, Duterte is coming across as authentic, as being a man of the people, a true outsider, a real anti-imperial Manila figure. Some of the country’s leading feminists have voiced their support for him. Even before he was elected, Luzviminda Ilagan of the leftist pro-women party, GABRIELA, applauded his initiatives in Davao that included a crisis shelter for women and a protection unit for children. In defiance of the Catholic Church, Duterte has promised to curb the country’s exploding population and ensure universal access to contraception. His appointments to the ministries of education, the environment, and agrarian reform, have been praised for their astuteness. He is attempting to end the long running war against communists and Muslim rebels through peaceful negotiation. He is taking a conciliatory stance toward China with regard to the West Philippine Sea. With the latest insult against the President of the United States, he is, as some quarters are now arguing, a genuine anti-colonial nationalist. His popularity ratings continue to surge upward. By harping on about the vulgarization of political discourse, Duterte’s critics seem to be missing the point by a long margin.


No other Filipino President in the history of the Philippines has flouted the rules of diplomatic etiquette so brazenly, nor used language so crassly as Duterte. Manuel L. Quezon (1935-1944) took pride in being sophisticated and dapper both in language and dress. The embattled Elpidio Quirino (1948-1953) and the obsequious but charming Ramon Magsaysay (1953-1957), both mediocre orators, would never think of insulting a US Ambassador to the Philippines. That “putang ina” is a favored public utterance of a Filipino President and, more profoundly, used to project power is truly unique.

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adroth

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Gabriela rep backs Duterte: Ganun talaga mga Bisaya
ABS-CBN News
Posted at 03 Jun 2016 06:53 PM | Updated as of 29 Sep 2016 02:22 PM

http://news.abs-cbn.com/halalan2016/nation/06/03/16/gabriela-rep-backs-duterte-ganun-talaga-mga-bisaya

MANILA - Is catcalling a form of sexual harassment? Two female backers of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte have conflicting opinions on the matter.

Outgoing Senator Pia Cayetano, sister of Duterte's running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said she will continue to support Duterte but takes exception to his catcalling of a reporter in a recent press conference.

"I support the President but I don't agree with the whistling," Cayetano tweeted in response to a Twitter user.

On the other hand, Gabriela party-list Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, who ran for councilor of Davao in the May polls, said catcalling is "not a form of sexual harassment."

Duterte, 71, has come under fire for catcalling TV reporter Mariz Umali during a press conference Tuesday.

Umali was asking Duterte about his Cabinet appointee when the president-elect interrupted her with a light-hearted comment about her trying to get his attention, then wolf-whistling and breaking into a short serenade.

Umali continued to ask her question as Duterte smiled and some other reporters laughed. She later said she did not expect an apology from Duterte.

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'GANOON TALAGA ANG MGA BISAYA'

On the other hand, Ilagan backed Duterte's explanation that catcalls are not sexual harassment.

"It's not sexual harassment. Whistling is not a form of sexual harassment...Siguro improper lang siya na behavior under the circumstances na hindi dapat ganoon," she said.

"If you are calling the attention of this reporter, you could have used the other way... We have to accept that our President is different and he is working under a cultural way of communicating.. Ganoon naman talaga ang mga Bisaya. They are sarcastic. We exaggerate. We make fun, pero accepted naman talaga. It's just a manner of speaking but not the thought, it's not the content."

Ilagan, who earlier voiced support for Duterte's candidacy, said the president-elect should have a moderator in future press conferences.

"I suggest he should have a moderator, also isali rin yung mukha ng mga nagtatanong. Hindi lang nakafocus sa kanya para makita natin yung gestures," she said.

Duterte's own spokesman, Salvador Panelo, has said Umali should instead take the president-elect's whistling as a compliment since it only means that the Davao City mayor "loves" her.

"Mayor Duterte is a very kind, playful individual. Pag siya'y pumito, ibig sabihin he's fond of you, ibig sabihin mahal ka niya, kaya ka binibiro. Hindi po isang pambabastos yun. On the contrary, the receiver of that should be complimented," Panelo said.

"The fact alone na nagtawanan yung mga tao eh ibig sabihin nun that expression was meant to be a joke and also as a compliment," he added.