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Unfulfilled promises

I often hear people say promises are made to be broken and lies are meant to be kept. It is true that most, not all, people fail to fulfill their vows one time too many. Even the country’s president is no exception.

In his two years in office, President Duterte made several promises that he failed to fulfill.

Leading the list was his campaign promise to end his usual cursing at people who earned his ire. He also vowed to behave properly in respect to the position he holds. Two years into his term, he continued to cuss and hurl invectives at his detractors and make sick jokes and remarks that are seen by many as improper for a person in his position.

Also during the campaign, the President promised to ride a jetski to the Spratly Islands and plant a Philippine flag there. He reiterated that promise in 2017 when he said he would do it on Independence Day. He eventually canceled the plan two months before the supposed event upon the request of China.

Duterte also promised to assert the decision by an arbitration court in The Hague on a petition where the Philippines won against China concerning our territory in the West Philippine Sea. Until today, he has continued to put on hold the decision to invoke the ruling.

Duterte also vowed to sail to the Philippine (Benham) Rise last May. All the preparations were made including the media that would cover the event. However, observers could only shake their heads after learning that the preparations were intended for publicity. The President gave a speech on a Navy boat docked on Casiguran Bay in the province of Aurora and left before it could sail to the Philippine Rise.

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People say that a man’s true worth can be measured through his word of honor. And for a leader of a nation, his people fully depend and place their hopes on him and how he values his word.
If a promise made is from the heart and it is something one believes he can fulfill, then there is hardly a chance that he can break it.
It is quite apparent that even Duterte cannot be expected to fulfill every promise he made especially if its fulfillment would earn the ire of China, which the President considers an extremely close ally. We can only hope and pray that he considers the welfare of the Filipinos first before that of his foreign friends at all times.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/

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