NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 03 July) — Naay pay panultihon sa mga Bisaya “Padili-dili pero gadali.” (There’s this saying among the Bisayan folk “Not interested but is in a hurry.”)
This yes-no flip-flop tactic together with his other controversy-driven stratagems enabled the unorthodox mayor of Davao City to grab the presidency of the land.
Duterte is a blinker to the brilliance of Marcos, but he is shrewder, more scheming, and can be rough and ruthless in reaching his goal.
Duterte is an accomplished Machiavellian. He would do anything and use anyone to get what he wants. Digong had no qualms in boasting to the public the size of his dick, his walking naked in a hotel corridor, in lamenting on a missed opportunity to rape a beautiful foreign missionary, in cursing the Pope, and in calling God stupid, to stay in the limelight. For DU30, bad publicity is good publicity that spread like a wildfire with no expense at all. His Machiavellianism won him an adoring flock that licks mindlessly every stupid thing he dishes out, glorifies him like a god of Olympus, and justifies to high heavens every inanity and nastiness he makes, or simply dismisses it as a joke, if beyond justification.
Despite, or because of his irreverence, vulgarity, inconsistency and flamboyance, Duterte continues to soar high in popularity and acceptability ratings, a feat unparalleled by any past sitting president of the land, in the era when surveys had become one easy and quick tool to gauge leadership.
He will continue to create controversies to remain in the public eye in his diminishing days in Malacanang. Apparently, he is now using Romualdez and Pacquiao in his bid for the vice presidency and, strategically, to spur more opposition to his anointed presidential replica, daughter Sara. Digong knows, of course, that the greater the number of divided enemies, the greater the certainty of victory. He badly needs to hang on to power, if only to escape the net of the International Criminal Court for his alleged crime against humanity.
Finally: I’m running, guys. Catch me if you can!
(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines)