Davao Mayor Sara Duterte punching Sheriff Abe Andres defending the plight of her poor constituents whose houses were about to be demolished make for good television. It also makes for good politics. It is very Erap Estrada. It is a winning formula that has kept the Dutertes in power. Is it any wonder that some praise it? “Duterte thus emerges”, Tonyo Cruz says, “as a shining star in this dark phase for the urban poor in the Philippines”. In a nutshell, Duterte is best described as, “Populist”.
Duterte requested that the execution of the order be stayed for a bit while she gets her people out, calmly. One can not fault Mayor Duterte for that. The Sheriff in the one hand has his orders. And under the law, no matter how incredulous it may be, then that law must be executed. One can imagine Mayor Duterte’s position, standing between the unruly mob, and the immovable force of Government. What happens when two immoveable forces meet?
And yes, that woman can punch. Many men, and a lot of women admire that.
What we have in Davao is a manifestation of the Culture of Impunity prevailing in the Country. This is a culture of impunity that manifests itself with a driver bribing, with a daylight roadside massacre, and it manifests itself in the Duterte versus Sheriff bout.
To frame the issue as Imperial Manila dictating to Davao what is right or wrong is also not the right way to go. It seem petulant just as Duterte however “macho”, the imagery of the heroic mayor punching the sheriff to defend the poor seem petulant. It makes the mayor look like Robin Hood. A vigilante right out of literature, and makes everything look surreal.
Tonyo cheers that Duterte is a shining light for the urban poor. See, being poor doesn’t make you right or wrong. Neither does being rich make you right or wrong. To frame it in the question is to simply advance a culture of impunity that says being poor ought to give us exceptions just as the rich flexing their muscles with money does.
Impunity is just as bad as corruption. In many ways they are interchangeable because our values are fucked up. When we can’t get our way, we rebel. We slug it out in the streets. There is a time for everything under the sun, and it is high time we bring back civility into our lives. Yes, it is harder to follow an order when just as easily, dirty and cynical minds could easily accuse the court of being corrupt.
When do we fight back against our cynicism?
When do we take back civilization?
When do we have civility?
We must admire Sara Duterte for her punch. On the other hand we shouldn’t admire the Mayor of Davao slugging it out with an Officer of the Court. It is a manifestation of a Culture of Impunity. Being rich doesn’t make people right or wrong. Being poor doesn’t make right or wrong. We must bring an age of reason and civility to the Philippines to knockout a Culture of Impunity.
Video by ANCAlerts via YouTube