We congratulate the winners in the other day’s elections, led by former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte, now the president-elect of our country, and wish them all success in the fulfillment of the promises they made to the people. We also hope that we now forget and forgive the charges that were hurled during the campaign, including the vicious ones that were made in desperation in the last few days.
What exactly are these promises? We know those made by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe, because these were more or less clearly articulated during the campaign.
Vice President Binay would implement nationwide, among all members of the family, particularly those suffering from ill health, lack of education, senior age, the programs of social uplift he had successfully carried out in Makati City. Senator Poe would bring compassion to the people by a faithful attendance to their problems, in the fields of employment, education, health and livelihood, and by an acceleration of investment in key sectors of our economy.
The three others? Former interior secretary Manuel A. Roxas II vowed to continue the programs of daang matuwid. Beyond linking him directly to a program of doubtful acceptability to the people, that commitment gave him the image of one who had no initiative of his own. True enough, Secretary Roxas made no promise of his own to the people.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, asking the electorate to focus on the candidates’ educational qualifications, also made no promise at all but raised a counter-issue: Where will the money come from to back up the promises of her adversaries? Comes now former Davao City Mayor Duterte, the most important candidate of them all because he won the mandate. The mayor was a single-issue candidate: criminality. He would kill all drug pushers, drug users, pickpockets, even traffic violators, within six months of his presidency. It was not clear whether his definition of lawbreakers included the big crooks in the highest councils of our government, the president himself, the senators, the congressmen and the Cabinet secretaries, who resorted to all schemes, overt and covert, to enrich themselves in office. This would seem to be the real issue, the plundering of the public treasury by crooks of the highest ranks, not the petty criminality on the streets.
Still and all, a political campaign might be too narrow a framework for the articulation of a comprehensive program of government. No place for China or other foreign-policy issues, for instance. Cognizant of that possibility, we are encouraged by the good mayor, when apprised of the nonresponsiveness of his speech before the Makati Business Club, saying that he would adopt as parts of his Development Plan programs of predecessors that have been shown to be beneficial to our country. Good enough. We hope so fervently.
We wish President-elect Duterte and the other elected people all success in their leadership of our country in the next six years.
Image credits: Jimbo Albano