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Just Du It

JUST Duterte it. Cut to the chase, keep the speech short and roll up your sleeves. “Why am I here? I’m here because I am ready to start my work for the nation.”

The best part of that crisp and crunchy speech – 16 minutes long – at the inaugural was the last sentence, a throwaway line. President Duterte is impatient to bring change, starting with himself. No cusswords, no deadly threats except a thinly veiled “parting of the ways sooner than later” to cabinet secretaries who are unable to keep up to speed, no frills, no wasting time. Just Du it, and so he did, issuing his first order to “all department secretaries and heads of agencies” to “reduce requirements in processing time of all applications,” “remove redundant requirements,” and “refrain from bending and changing the rules in government contracts.”

Just imagine, how many million manhours and pesos will be saved, not to mention how many cases of hypertension, stress, and cardiac arrest will be prevented and kept out of hospitals and clinics, should those orders be followed to the letter by national and local officials so used to lording it over the hapless citizen. Just Du it, for the test of government service is in how “we provide for those who have little,” a throwback to Ramon Magsaysay, with whom Digong has been compared. He has also been portrayed as a Lee Kuan Yew without the gutter language, only an iron fist.

To get to Malacañang, Digong of Davao City trumped the mayor of glitzy Makati, defeated the sitting President’s “clone,” beat the gracious lady with the ponytail, and astounded those of us who did not feel the earth moving under our feet in a totally different direction. As a businessman put it, “The moment I saw ordinary people paying good money to buy his campaign shirts, I was sure he was going to win.” Another said, “Like children, we only behave when Papa takes out his belt to punish us – now here comes this guy and he’s The Punisher!”

The signs were all good on June 30. The morning was gentled by sprinkles of rain, always a nice augury, then the sun came out as soon as the oath-taking was done. It’s going to be a rough ride, the President promised, so why’s everyone so cheerful? Just Du it, Mr. President. (Jullie Y. Daza)