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Never say die

UNLIKE his Chief PNP, whose mantra to policemen is “stay alive,” President Duterte keeps saying he is ready to “die for my country.”

No offense, but we don’t want to hear that again, Mr. President, even if it’s the right thing to say to prove your patriotism and love of country. If we have to cover our ears, turn off the radio and TV, skip those words in the news pages, we’ll do it. There are a million other ways and words to show how much you love your country. Words have power, even words coming from a powerful man.

From the start of the election campaign, where he was the only candidate prominently portrayed with the flag in his billboards, ads, and leaflets, and up to the time he declared war on drugs and criminality, Rodrigo R. Duterte’s message has been loud and clear: He will do the right thing for the people, for his soldiers and policemen, even if it should cost him his life, because he will go all the way to defend, protect, and fight for them.

Mr. President, we need you alive and kicking – go ahead, curse all you want (preferably in private), but never say die.

Years ago when I was with an internationally famous singer-composer at a nonmusical event, we could’ve sung a duet when we discovered that we shared the same sentiments about the last line of the national anthem that goes, “Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi, ang mamatay nang dahil sa iyo” (a rough translation of which would read, should our happiness be trampled upon, willingly shall we die for you). As the musician put it, you’re being oppressed and you’ll do them a favor by dying?

The great American warrior, General Patton, used mighty words with which to inspire his soldiers. Your duty, he told them, is to make the other guy die for his country.

As boldly as our General Bato orders 160,000 cops to stay alive, he should relay the same upstairs, to his Commander-in-Chief. (Jullie Y. Daza)