Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte led in the results of the recent survey conducted by Pulse Asia in Metro Manila on November 11 and 12, 2015 (source: Manila Bulletin). On November 27, 2015, he finally filed his certificate of candidacy for president in the 2016 elections, giving all his supporters the hope and joy they all have been wanting for all this time.
Many Filipinos call him the “phenomenon”, the “country’s last hope”, and the “man of no-nonsense action”. His popularity in the social media is overwhelming. While we cannot deny the accomplishments he achieved as the Mayor of Davao City, it’s still somehow a mystery to many of us how he earned such fame and how he influenced a lot of Filipinos to eagerly want him as the next president of the Philippines.
Below are my opinions based on my observations, experiences and some statistical data on why many Filipinos will vote for Duterte in the 2016 presidential election.
1. His chance of winning is big.
Many Filipinos have this mentality during elections: they don’t vote for a candidate whom they think has no chance of winning even if that candidate is deserving. Think of Dick Gordon or Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro, both are highly competent presidentiables during the 2009 presidential elections, but, they did not earn as much as votes as they need to win because many Filipinos thought that their votes would only be wasted if they cast their votes for them. On the other hand, Duterte possesses both competence and a huge chance of winning, thus, all his supporters would not hesitate to vote for him.
2. Many parts of the country are not safe from crimes.
Although Duterte is from Mindanao, expect that many Filipinos in NCR will vote for him. But why? The highest crime rate in the Philippines is in the National Capital Region. Of the 289,198 reported crimes nationwide, more than a fourth or 59,448 crimes happened in the National Capital Region between January and May 2014 (source: Rappler). Duterte is known to be a crime buster. With many Filipinos who are afraid to be a victim of robbery, kidnapping, rape, and other crimes, who do you think they will vote?
3. The problem of illegal drugs affects a lot of Filipinos.
Duterte is strongly fighting against illegal drugs in the Philippines, even threatening to kill drug dealers and shoot drug lords (source: Inquirer). Some of us may be passive about the topic of drugs because we are not directly affected by it. However, according to a statistics released by the Dangerous Drug Board (DDB) in 2012, there are 1.7 Million estimated drug users in the Philippines (source: DDB.gov.ph). And according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), more than 8,000 barangays in the country are affected with the drug menace (source: Philstar). These facts could mean that millions of, not only individuals, but families, businesses and other entities are broken or destroyed by illegal drugs. And the only one who could save them according to many Filipinos is none other than Duterte.
3. Filipinos are already tired of corruption and traditional politics.
Filipinos are already tired of corrupt politicians, politicians with unexplained wealth, politicians who break their promises, epal, and other types of trapos (traditional politicians). Among the presidentiables, Duterte is the closest embodiment of a non-traditional politician who’s not tarnished with corruption; who has clear accomplishments to show; and who walks his talk. Hence, for registered Filipino voters who want some change to happen, they will go for Duterte.
4. They want discipline to be strongly implemented.
Most of the big problems in our country are brought by the lack of discipline of many Filipinos. The problem on traffic congestion, environmental pollution, and inefficiency in the government services are also caused by undisciplined people. So if public discipline can be implemented in Davao City and its offices, why not in the whole country? Filipinos who are already tired of traffic, public smokers, polluted rivers, “laglag bala” scheme, red tape, and other common problems in our nation might just go for Duterte without hesitations.
5. They will vote for Duterte because they’ve only registered for Duterte.
Believe it or not but I know a lot of friends who only registered and updated their biometrics with the Comelec as a registered voter to not miss the opportunity to cast their vote for Duterte. In other words, it was Duterte who made them feel excited to exercise their right to vote in the coming national elections.
Do you know any other reason why Filipinos will vote for Duterte? Kindly share your thoughts with the comments below.