Last night, my 80-year old Ate Lucy, my 70-year old Ate Edna, and I (who will be 60 years old next month), were watching President Rodrigo Duterte’s speech on TV while he was visiting the Philippine National Police Regional Headquarters in Butuan City. Ate Lucy is a retired local government public servant. Ate Edna was a food service entrepreneur in Shanghai, China and is currently one of the major investors at CoffeeForPeace Bistro here in Davao City. I’m a peacebuilding fieldworker.


Every time Duterte speaks, I get nervous. The ‘decent middle-class culture’ in me gets embarrassed. But I noticed Ate Lucy and Ate Edna appreciating, and even applauding at, Duterte’s various points. (My older siblings enjoyed being children of a municipal mayor in our hometown.)


During our discussion, I realized that my sisters felt (not necessarily cognitive understanding) what President Duterte was saying. They hear him from their affective contexts and existential perspectives.


After listening to their feelings, I shared my cognitive understanding of what the President was saying.


The global powers use their foreign aids as carrot sticks to manipulate our national government and to make our policies too much pro-corporation, pro-war, anti-people, and anti-environment.


The big corporations exploit our rich natural resources and perpetuate the cheap labour system that makes us modern day slaves inside and outside our land.


The national and local government structures, who benefit from foreign aids and big corporations, become patronage politicians and corrupt bureaucrats; they run the country like the running dogs of foreign powers and big corporations.


The masses need to understand, embrace, and stand up for, these issues.


The president communicates these otherwise academic issues in the language and passion of the masses.


Our intelligent, talented, and hard-working human resources here and abroad are now being awakened from hopelessness and are now dreaming to be liberated from this enslaving system.


We refuse to be mendicants in our rich and beautiful land!



After my short delineation, my Ate Lucy said: “Ay iyan na nga baga ang ipinapaliwanag ko sa iyo, Hinlog.” (Oh, that’s what I have been explaining to you, my Dear Younger Brother.)


My sisters’ volitional support gives me a glimpse to the “very good” +64 net satisfaction rating Duterte got in a new Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey released on Thursday, October 6 — his first 100 days as the President of the Republic of the Philippines.



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