Thinking Pinoy: How to destroy Rodrigo Duterte

August 31, 2016

How to destroy Rodrigo Duterte

You hate Duterte, I get it. I do not respect the fact that you hate Duterte, but I respect your right to hate him. Believing that he still doesn’t deserve to be the president despite a landslide win, you desperately want to bring him down. I get that too.

But over and over you fail, and I am starting to feel bad for you. That’s why this time, I am going to help you do exactly what you want to do.

A quick stroll down memory lane

Let me start by refreshing your memory about the first five attempts at destroying Rodrigo Duterte.

First, there was the “P.I. Pope” issue in November 2015. It didn’t work because cursing is not a big deal for the poor masses where I belong [TP: Tatang], while the rich and middle class feel that there are more important issues to worry about.

Second, there was the “Rape Joke” issue [TP: Distasteful]. It didn’t work because a foul-mouthed president is better than one who coddles rapists [TP: Jalosjos].

Third, there was the “BPI Julia Vargas” issue [TP: BangkoSerye]. It didn’t work because Duterte has gained the Teflon effect [TP: Waiver Game], the evidence turned out to be double hearsay [TP: Sampalan], and the evidence contradicts itself [TP: Scenarios].

Fourth, there was the “PCOS” issue [TP: Smartmatic]. It didn’t work because Duterte’s lead is so large, (1) there’s no way people will believe he wouldn’t win and (2) the lead overwhelmed any potential cheating. Not for Bongbong Marcos, though [TP: Obsolete].

Fifth, there was “Plan B”, where Duterte would have been removed through impeachment. It didn’t work as Duterte managed to secure 9 senator-allies, making the two-thirds majority required for conviction in an impeachment trial impossible to attain [TP: Mark Villar].

Five major attempts and so far, none worked. These painful and repeated failures have frustrated many people, to a point where they just throw in the “disente” towel and go full blast.

The Frustration of “The Other Side”

Rappler, the college sorority blog known for its hyper-opinionated bloggers [TP: Pia Rañada], won’t qualify as an example. Instead, I am talking about those who feigned impartiality in the past several months, only to amuse the public by crying like babies who saw Edgar Erice’s face.
Just look at erstwhile respectable Professor Walden Bello who was caught, pants down, calling 91% of Filipinos ignorant and stupid [Star, Minda] . He wasn’t sorry for it and he gloriously succeeded, in the succeeding days [FB], to reinforce his newly-built reputation for assholery.

Then there’s Al Jazeera’s Jamela Alindogan who cheapened the deaths of fifteen soldiers [FB] in the war against the Abu Sayyaf by blaming it on Duterte’s supposed misdecision. It appears Alindogan expects that the Abu Sayyaf will talk peace with Duterte over tea.

Yes, I chose to support Duterte in the May 2016 elections. However, there’s a part of me that feels sympathy for the opposition that has been repeatedly trying its best to destroy the man and repeatedly failing miserably time and time again.

That’s why I am going to teach you how to destroy him, because I am starting to feel genuine pity for you guys.

SERIOUSLY.

Duterte the Murderer?

You’re trying to destroy Duterte again and this time, it’s the EJK issue.

You say Duterte is a mass murderer after the death of 2000 people during the war on drugs. Your ally, Sen. Leila de Lima, was so convinced of this despite her chronic failure to show – since 2009 – Duterte’s involvement in the Davao Death Squads [TP: Ooh, Ronnie!].

De Lima called for a senate investigation, and everybody she invited from the Duterte camp attended. Two days’ worth of grandstanding was fruitless, as not a single testimony, not a single piece of evidence, showed that Duterte ordered those deaths [TP: Chito Gascon].
Despite the lack of evidence, you still insist that he sanctions vigilante killings because you held him to his word. I think you will agree with TV5’s Atty Mel Sta. Maria when he said in Filipino yesterday [Radyo5]:
President Duterte should be firm and say, “Arrest all drug pushers,” but he shouldn’t say, “I do not care about Human Rights (of criminals).”
Adding Hontiveros’ statement that the president’s statements have “the force and effect of policy”, you are basically telling us that despite the lack of a formal announcement, his words against criminals de facto emboldened the police to kill suspects at will.

This kind of reasoning is problematic because it does not resonate with the masses.

Let me tell you why.

The Language of the Masses

Overanalyzing Duterte’s statements won’t work and the sooner you accept that reality, the better. I thought you’ve already learned that after the P.I. Pope scandal [TP: Tatang], but you didn’t. I thought you’ve learned that after the Rape Joke scandal [TP:Jalosjos], but you haven’t.

We all speak Taglish, Duterte included. However, what mainstream media still doesn’t get is that Duterte speaks Taglish that matches the wavelength of the masses, especially those who grew up poor, underprivileged, the whole nine yards. This is starkly different from the sanitized, prim-and-proper Taglish that most wealthy and highly-educated Filipinos (or those pretending to be such) use.Luchi Cruz-Valdez brilliantly explained this point yesterday when she said [Radyo5]:
“Nakuha niya (Duterte) kasi ang lenggwahe ng masa… Kung likas kang Pilipino, tubong Pilipino ka… lalo na grassroots…mage-gets mo pati jokes niya e… nasasakyan…kaya ganoong kalawak ang mass base niya, really. Kasi nasasakyan nila, alam nila kapag nagjo-joke lang ‘yan, alam din nila kapag, ‘Oi, seryoso ‘yan,’ alam din nila kung nagbo-borderline (offensive) siya.”
[Translation: He speaks the language of the masses. If you’re a common Filipino, especially if you’re from the grassroots, you’ll catch the drift, even his jokes. That’s how he got his massive mass base, really. Because the masses understand him. They know when he’s joking, they also know when he’s serious, they also know when he’s borderline (offensive).]
You know what, I actually think you do understand the language issue but you are still denying it. Yes, you have all the freedom to think whatever you’re thinking. However, the fact remains that engaging the masses means having to play in their arena, not yours.

And what do you want? Sway their opinions to your favor.

Swaying Public Opinion

There’s one key concept here that you need to keep in mind: Public Opinion.

That is, if you want to destroy Duterte, you need to destroy his public image. If you want to destroy his public image, you have to be able to communicate with the masses. You should not just aim for the masses to hear you, you should make them listen to you.

We are not talking anymore about what’s the morally right way to speak. I’ll leave that to Rappler, the self-proclaimed morality police. Instead, I am talking about speaking in a way that people will actually listen.

And this how you do it:

First, stop pissing off the majority.

No, I am not talking about the self-proclaimed “Silent Majority” because 9% by no means constitutes a majority. I am talking about the 40% who voted for him, plus the 51% who decided to support him after he won. If you continue calling us idiots, ignoramuses, retards, and the like, you might as well look forward to six more years of teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling.

Second, stop nitpicking his statements.

Whether you think he really meant it or not doesn’t matter: it’s how the masses interpret his statement that does. Instead of wondering why “the masses are so clueless”, you should ask why they caught his drift while you did not. Why? Making a big deal out of an otherwise simple statement will make the masses see you as a fool, and no one likes listening to fools.

Third, be sincere and straightforward.

The masses know you don’t like Duterte so they would naturally be suspicious of everything you say. Just like in social media marketing, sincerity and empathy (or at least, what appears to be such) are the currencies of politics. People don’t like talking to people that they feel they need to second-guess. Yes, your need to second-guess Duterte’s words may be one of the reasons you didn’t vote for him, but the tables have turned after May 9th. The 91% percent’s need to second-guess your statements will just make your job harder to do.

To make this easier to understand, let’s apply these three tips to the EJK issue, your sixth and latest attempt to kick him out of the national scene.

Did Duterte order the "murders"?

The extrajudicial killings (EJK) issue, the sixth and latest attempt, shows a lot of promise, if done right.

First, stop calling Duterte supporters names.

I am not against name-calling per se, but the truth of the matter is you can’t convince someone to change sides if the first thing you do is piss him off [TP:Ed Lingao]. If you continue displaying disdain for Duterte supporters, then you are just wasting precious time, money, and saliva.

Second, stop using his statements against him.

We, his supporters, admit that he has a foul mouth, but we believe that he more than makes up for it with real, tangible, and substantial results.

Hence, use his actual actions instead. If you want to prove that Duterte is a mass murderer, show us that he actually ordered police to kill innocent people, or that he actually tolerated police abuses. You haven’t done that so far.

Third, stop telling us that you’re on our side.

You are not fooling anyone. As a Duterte supporter, I would rather hear someone talk smack about me in front of my face rather than hear someone who spews bullshit. Duterte won because of the things he did, and not by the way he talks. Hence, to destroy him, show evidence based on the things that really did, and not based from the things he said.

Show us a policeman who killed an innocent but was subsequently pardoned. Give us a video or audio clip showing Duterte ordering cops to unlawfully kill people. Show us that saving a criminal’s life and saving our own lives are not mutually exclusive.

Why? Because you haven’t shown any of those so far.

ThinkingPinoy’s Bottom-line

I, ThinkingPinoy, am not a newsperson right now. I am just a lowly anonymous blogger who belongs to the masses. I am just a regular Filipino who writes about what I think. Nothing more and nothing less. I am not sure if you’ve been following my blog but I have read Facebook comments saying I have changed from a decent and courteous blogger to someone who writes incendiary posts almost every day. In short, I have allegedly become  an "indencent" blogger, whatever that means.

Why? Because I have run out of patience for dealing with people like you.

However, I am still trying to reach out to you because I want real opposition to the Duterte administration. And when I say “real”, I mean an opposition that actually makes sense to me and to the rest of the masses, not the kind of overreacting, self-entitled opposition that the country has today.

Now, if you still don’t get what I mean, just avoid these 10 no-no’s:
  1. Do not do a [TP: Pia Rañada], i.e. no superiority complex please.
  2. Do not do a [TP: Paterno Esmaquel], i.e. no cyberbullying please.
  3. Do not do a [TP: Albert del Rosario], no hidden motives please.
  4. Do not do a [TP: Karen Davila], i.e. no deceitfulness please.
  5. Do not do a [TP: Antonio Trillanes], i.e. no false evidence please.
  6. Do not do a [TP: Leila de Lima], i.e. no hypocrisy please.
  7. Do not do a [TP: Chito Gascon], i.e. no bullshit please.
  8. Do not do a [TP: Aika Robredo], i.e. no unfounded claims please.
  9. Do not do a [TP: Noynoy Aquino], i.e. no laziness and incompetence please; and most importantly,
  10. Do not do a [TP: Leni Robredo], i.e. no ignorance please.

Because in as far as your political interests are concerned, doing any of these ten will do you more harm than good.

In reaction to this article, you may say:
  • That's too difficult!
  • That's too complicated! 
  • That's too unreasonable!
  • That's too numerous!
  • That's too unfair!
Well, that's your problem, not mine. It's you who needs something from the masses, and not the other way around. But if you manage to do all these, then alright, let's talk. [ThinkingPinoy]

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