Should President Rodrigo Duterte shut his mouth?
According to both his critics and some allies, he should but according to the President himself, he will not as he should not.
It is undeniable that leadership style of President Duterte is nothing similar to any of the president our country had. Anybody who renders the judgment that the President’s leadership style and actions are “not presidential” needs not only to define but also to substantiate what “presidential” is.
President Duterte himself, in a recent pronouncement, said that he is and will never be a “statesman” if being one means speaking of flowery and nice-to-hear statements.
We may not agree with everything that President Duterte said and how he said them but no one can deny that he is sincere in doing what is best for our country and people.
Isn’t doing what is best for the Philippines and the Filipinos the essence of being “presidential?”
Being “presidential” is certainly not being the traditional Filipino politician. We have seen in the past how traditional politicians (and even non-traditional politicians who were later eaten up by the traditional political system in our country) failed to serve us with what our country and people deserve.
What is clear about the brand of President Duterte’s presidency is its significant deviation from what we have consistently seen in the past – least glamor and formalities and more on no-nonsense and strong-willed actions.
President Duterte’s conscious acts of shattering our conventional notions of the presidency, leadership and public service are interesting, to say the least. Indeed, nothing will change unless the status quo is dismantled. Nothing much will change if we limit everything to what is “conventional.”
We can expect a lot of talks and debates on the President and how he leads, talks and acts in the coming days, weeks and months. As long as President Duterte is able to show that his brands of presidency, leadership and public service are all directed towards the fundamental essence of a democratic government, i.e. a government that serves the best interests of the people, he will be able to change, for the better, the political and government landscapes in our country.
When President Duterte won the presidency, millions of Filipinos rejoiced because they believe that “change has come.” With how things currently are in the presidency and in government, the obvious question is – are we really ready for change? (Dr. Ramon Ricardo A. Roque, CESOI, Diplomate)