TO THE POINT:  Duterte’s Disoriented Regime: Whereto?

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 10 January) — Two years into his presidency, whereto is President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s DDR heading? The Palace has been painting a very rosy picture. Can the roses hide the thorns?

“DDR” is acronym for “Duterte’s Disoriented Regime.” This is our honest present view of the Duterte Administration. We wish, as we have expected, to see a view better than that from the Palace apologists who dish out daily media fare – factual, controversial, buster or booster.

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What a leader says bares his moral, ethical and political orientation and inclination. Speeches of past great leaders inspire the present and will do, when the time comes, the still unborn. Can the same be said of the speeches of President Duterte?

He does not like speeches prepared by his speech writers. He says that these speeches do not truly reflect his views and feelings. We agree. He should be commended for that. Then he should dismiss those well-paid speech writers.

He regales his audiences with impromptu and extemporaneous speeches or lengthy ad libs in prepared speeches he could not avoid like his State of the Nation Address — speeches and ad libs, more often than not, laced with expletives, indecent and spicy language. What in these inspire?

He follows the stream of his impulses and passions — upstream, downstream, sidestream, backflow. We have to pore long and repeatedly through his mixed Tagalog, Bisaya and English (Tagbilish) winding and incomplete sentences to know exactly what he is saying and where his thoughts are heading. What disorientation!

Usually, the media quote or cite only clear statements from his speeches on which to build a story. They publish the full text of some of his speeches for the readers – those who care – to fathom what the President had said or been trying to say.

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The Palace belabors to explain what the President means; appeals for understanding of his foul and unpresidential language as part of his cultural upbringing; blames his critics for distorting or misquoting his statements and falsifying facts; and accuses international critics of ignorance and interference in the sovereignty of the Philippines.

The Palace through the national and social media depicts the President as the leader the Filipinos direly need and his administration as the government that will liberate the nation from poverty, drug menace, corruption, et cetera.  But behind the rosy picture they want all to see and accept lays the disorientation they are trying to hide.

From his speeches is mirrored the DDR. Where is it heading?

Unless the President can truly re-orient himself and his administration – he has much time to do it – the DDR will just be a different version of the immediate past ADMR (Aquino Daang Matuwid Regime).

(Next: More on DDR)

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. Patriicio P. Diaz was editor in chief of the Mindanao Cross in Cotabato City and later the Mindanao Kris. He is the recipient of a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Titus Brandsma for his ‘commitment to education and public information to Mindanawons as Journalist, Educator, and Peace Advocate. You may e-mail your comments to