8 Reasons Duterte Is Not The “Donald Trump of the Philippines”
By Tim Henares
Given the past 100 days or so of President Digong, and given the overall negativity in the air when it comes to anything he says or does, when it comes to his administration so far, it is probably merely cold comfort for us to hear these four words: it could be worse.
And indeed, it could be worse. We could have someone like Donald Trump running our country. Because for all of Digong’s faults, it is hard to imagine he could do much worse than Trump is set to do in his country in the not entirely slim chance that he wins.
President Duterte is no Trump, for better or worse. Here are 8 reasons why.
President Duterte: President Duterte was mayor of Davao for over 20 years. Regardless what you think about him, you don’t get elected and well-loved for that long if you’re not actually doing something right.
Presidentiable Trump: Trump has had zero political experience before jumping into the Presidential race. He is indeed a multi-millionaire who should have been a multi-billionaire if he was actually any good with his money, which explains why multiple companies under him have filed for bankruptcy. Even at the job he claims to be good at, it is clear that he’s not particularly stellar at it.
7. Foreign Policy
President Duterte: If current trends are to be believed, our current President is trying (emphasis on “trying”) to appease Russia, China, America, and the EU all at the same time, by relying on the Philippines’s longstanding alliance with the latter two as a buffer for his recent behavior towards them, while cozying up to Russia and China. It could be taken as isolationist, but for as long as the President’s Foreign Secretary keeps putting out the fires his boss is setting, then it is clear that the overall plan is to keep the peace but to be antagonistic enough of one side so the other could assume that the enemy of their enemy is their friend.
Presidentiable Trump: If you mean cutting off immigration, making an already-difficult process for refugees even more difficult, making racists statements on a regular basis, and gushing about Russia when Obama has tenuously kept Putin in check for the past 8 years, then yeah, you’re looking at a foreign policy that is even worse than Duterte’s, simply because they are stances that do not benefit America in any way at all. While the Philippines can afford to flex its muscles a bit, this excessive posturing by Trump if he were to be President would be disastrous for a barely-recovering economy like the US’s.
6. Peace and Order
President Duterte: This is a no-brainer, as it is literally his only well-articulated government platform, and for better or for worse, it is an actual plan that we are well aware of. Any issues with the plan are currently being addressed, although admittedly, there simply is no excusing 3,000++ deaths in so short a span of time, regardless if it’s the cops or the criminal elements doing it. Something sparked this rash of killings, and we have to get to the root of it, curb it, and then safeguard whatever gains the current campaign has already accomplished. Oh, and body camera for law enforcement, with stiff penalties if someone dies on their watch and when a body cam suspiciously malfunctions.
Presidentiable Trump: At Trump’s rallies, violence breaks out often enough. This was not a feature of Duterte’s rallies, and only goes to show that this early on, Trump has no handle for peace and order in his county, especially since his stance on the second amendment should be pretty obvious.
President Duterte: Similar to Trump, Digong is practically bulletproof when it comes to controversy, and actually comes out looking better after most of them. Whether it be a rape joke, cussing out the Pope, or even a taken as hyperbolic admission that he is the Davao Death Squad, Digong could throw anyone a middle finger and have diehard defenders arguing that one should feel honored being flipped the bird by the Philippine president.
Presidentiable Trump: The biggest difference and perhaps the one advantage Trump has is that regardless of his controversies, from his frequent bouts of racism, sexism, even inciting Russia to commit crimes, he has never been accused of killing people., That’s hardly a step up when you consider how much Duterte’s blood-thirsty reputation actually helped his cause, instead of hindered it.