May 17, 2016

The National Media’s Basic Guide to Rody Duterte


ThinkingPinoy feels that everyone, especially national media, will need a bit of time to adjust when it comes to “understanding” presumptive president Rodrigo Duterte’s quirks. TP wanted to discuss this during the campaign period, but he felt that there was neither time nor incentive for National Media to understand him.

However, now that he's the presumptive president, media practictioners have no other choice but to do so, so let TP list down Rody Duterte's five basic quirks:

First, Duterte is not fond of finishing his sentences, forcing reporters to always add context to whatever he says. Readers will understand what TP means when they see how much parenthesized content TP adds into quotes.

Second, Duterte loves to insert jokes and other off-the-cuff remarks within his speeches. This is inconvenient for time-constrained media people, but they just have to live with it: it is what it is and it is unlikely to change.

Third, Duterte is always brutally frank when answering reporters. Some will find this refreshing, while some will find this disconcerting, especially since most officials love going ‘round the bush. Basically, he says what he means and he means what he says 95% of the time, and it takes a bit of time for a media person to learn when the other 5% happens.

Fourth, Duterte sometimes inserts unrelated but important remarks in the middle of something that’s also important. Yesterday, for example, Duterte was talking about separation of powers then he talked about intra-departmental red tape, then he went back to separation of powers. It’s just a matter of getting used to.

Fifth, Duterte gives long-winded, censorship-free speeches all the time, to both the media’s delight and horror. The one-and-a-half hour speech he gave yesterday was that long not because he had many things to say after his one-week vacation. Instead, it’s because he really gives long speeches ALL THE TIME. Note, however, that while Duterte takes time to get his points across, there are some occasions when he's unnervingly concise, such as when he issued a de facto disclaimer yesterday when he said he has "a modus vivendi with the communists".

DEFINITION: Modus vivendi (noun), an arrangement that helps people, groups, or countries work together peacefully even though they do not agree with each other [MW]

TP guesses it’s because he wants to say everything in one sitting just to get things over with. He’s not the kind of guy who likes to explain himself all the time. But for what it’s worth, these long winded speeches usually results into five or more articles that allow field reporters to reach their “daily quota” more easily.

Again, these five basic Duterte quirks will require some time for the reader to get used to, that’s why TP decided to start a series called DDS (Duterte Digest Service), which provides chronologically-arranged bullet points that list down everything he says in every long-winded speech.

Everything Duterte said in that 1.5-hour speech

First, here’s the full video “clip” of Duterte’s press conference yesterday, 17 May 2016, in Davao City’s Matina Enclave.

Now, TP will list down everything the old man said plus quotes, whenever available.

1: Duterte wants hyper-fanatics to tone down: “I do not want too much adulation given to me. I don’t want that kind of rapport with the Filipino people. I discourage that kulto-kulto na Duterte – it doesn’t fit into my paradigm in life… Nako-kornihan ako, that’s why I don’t want it.”

2: He will fulfill his promise to suppress criminality and drugs: “I will control drugs, I am willing to control crime, but the predicate of it all is I’m willing to lose the presidency, my life, or honor. This is my promise to the people. I intend to do it.”
Cabinet Positions

3: He wants Sonny Dominguez for Department of Finance: “I hope Sonny Dominguez reconsiders Finance Deparment”

4: He wants Art Tugade as DOTC Secretary.

5: He wants Senator Alan Peter Cayetano to choose between DFA or DOJ. Because of ban on appointments for 2016 election candidates, an acting secretary will serve as a placeholder. In this case, it may be Perfecto Yasay. Duterete asked Yasay to take furlough and be acting DFA sec.

6: He asked the Communist Party to choose among DAR, DENR, DOLE, or DSWD: “Open ‘yung DAR, DENR, DOLE, or DWSD but those are the only departments I can concede to them, maganda na ‘yan.”

7: He plans to raise cabinet salaries to achieve parity with private sector salaries: “I will offer cabinet’s undersecretaries – the workhorses – allowances so that I can bring in the parity with the private sector. I can’t bring in talent if ganoon kababa ang sweldo. Maybe I can increase the emoluments by way of allowances.”

8: For PNP Chief, he wants to choose one among Apolinario, dela Rosa, and Espera: “PNP – seniority. Nobody will get the edge. Si Apolinario, de la Rosa, Espera… They are honest, not corrupt, and they follow orders.” [CNN]

9: Duterte wants a meritocratic, technocratic hiring system for bureau and GOCC employees: “All applicants in bureaus and GOCCs must agree that their names will be published. I will give my staff a limit (deadline) to publish the names, especially those who apply to GOCCs. It will go to the best and the brightest, no political (padrino system)... Huwag kayong manghingi ng endorsement sa politicians. If it comes with one, your application is automatically rejected…If you want an assignment, it should be based on merit…If you’re a smart, then apply. But it doesn’t always work that way because some summa cum laudes are suman-suman (duds). If I can instill in you love of country, then I will know you’ll do your job…You be willing to have your name published in the newspaper. Do not get recommendations from anybody. After all, if something doesn’t work, it’s the president who will have to answer... As long as there’s no parity, you’ll never get good people to work for government.”

10: He wants to sell the presidential yacht and use the proceeds to buy medical supplies for the AFP/PNP: “I am selling The Pangulo, it’s obscene. Proceeds to go to buildings for military and police, raise parity with private sector, CT Scan machines, kung di masyado marami pera, refurbish veteran’s hospital.”

11: He will not interfere with AFP commanders as long as they don’t abuse power: “…Board of generals, as long as you don’t exceed authority, I will not interfere.”

12: No more junkets: “Sa government, puro junkets. Yung mga seminar costs lots of money and it not necessary. Pure junket. No more out of town seminars. Bring resource speakers lecturers come to people. No more Lakbay-Aral.”

13: Duterte and the CPP-NPA have a mutual agreement to disagree: “[PNP] weren’t free to go around because of assassins… [the left]. We used to lose around 3-4 policemen a day. I had to be there just to let them (the left and PNP) know of my presence. There’s a modus vivendi between us (NPA and Duterte). There was a time nagalit talaga ako, I went to the mountain, nagyakyak ako don. That was about… three weeks ago?”

14: No more new licenses for heavy firearms. No more new permits to carry heavy firearms as these are used to equip insurgents (NPA) and there was only one time that he knew arms were procured from outside sources. “I do not begrudge NPA for looking for ams, there’s a war. If God wills it that I reach my oath-taking days, they (CPP-NPA) have to realize that I am with the government, I am the enemy also, but I offer my hand in peace to [Jose Maria] Sison and to the rest and we can talk… I have mentioned the positions available to you… we can talk… provided you are qualified… provided you have the education bearing to hack your job. “

15. He wants congress to restore the death penalty: "Heinous crimes committed with heavy firearms, rape, drug pushing, kidnapping with ransom at pinatay, robbery homicide with rape..."

16: He wants a drastic reduction in red tape: “…Release of papers, people are made to wait ‘til they die. (My) proposal(, to be implemented) in all government insitutions…(is that) clearances, electrical connections, business permits (and the like, should be provided at most) 72 hours (after request). After that window, you’re not allowed to release, give it to me and explain why you’re late… Departments, defense or whatever, 30 days. NEDA, that’s about 47 days, 5 signatures, I do not give how you configure hiring authority… CSC should come up with seminars on punctuality on attendance and on release of papers.”

17: Duterte wants to respect separation of powers: “‘Di ko pakikialam ang congress and judiciary, separation of powers. Hindi pwede ako makialam sa kanila.”

18: Corrupt policemen and soldiers, retire now: “Corrupt policemen and soldiers, resign now before I take oath. Yung mga may kaso ngayon, get out now even if a decision is still pending.”

19: Duterte asks congress to be more circumspect: Senate investigations are okay, but show courtesy. Be civil.

20: Duterte tells CHR and CSC that ethics do not override fundamental constitutional rights: "Civil Service Commission and CHR you may disagree with what I say but you have to defend my right to say it."

21: Duterte wants public servants to show humility. He plans to adopt a policy of suspending abusive, erring local government officials: Duterte cited the case where a certain mayor got a KFC employee fired just because the latter didn’t recognize him.

22: Duterte plans to empower barangay officials in fight versus drugs. “Inutility of Barangay captains cause of drugs. I will recruit people a la CHDF for every captain give them guns so they can defend themselves. CHDF stands for Civilian home defense units [Mannheim]” Duterte said armed personnel will be supervised and held accountable by local police chiefs.

23: No compromise on war on drugs: “Those who destroy the lives of my people will be destroyed. No middle ground.”

24: Duterte got hit with bronchitis because of weak immune system after months of campaigning. He said he will be okay after 2 more days of rest.

25: Duterte wants to implement a 10PM curfew for minors. “Minors violating curfew will not be arrested, arrest parents instead. Will suspend captains who don’t comply.”

26: Duterte wants stricter drunk driving laws. “Drunk driving – take it out from the provision law – right now 6 years max, easy to get probation… drunkenness makes them prone to overspeeding, 60 kph max, pag hindi ka hinabol ng pulis, pulis ang hahabulin ko.”

27: Duterte wants to implement 10PM curfew on karaoke/videoke: Kapitans, mayors, governors should enforce no videoke after 10 pm.

28: Duterte to hire an team to handle economic policy: “I will get the best economic minds. To MBC do not be cynic about your officials, because I never pretended to be one.”

29: Ban on drinking in public places: “No drinking in all public places, lalo na sa mga plaza. Do not occupy streets.”

30: Duterte plans to create a Department of Overseas Filipino Workers: “(DOFW) may be (housed in) the post office. (We can) convert (the) post office to become (more) functional, beneficial to people…Illegal recruiters will be arrested kahit wala pang victim…I will do to you what you will do to your fellowman. Period.”

31: No collections in schools. Wala nang school uniforms. Ayoko ng K-12 pero noong nagexplain sa akin, pinag-isipan ko. Let me take until the end of the month, I will talk to the secretary of Education.

32: Taxis should give change: "Otherwise, it’s estafa."

33: Duterte is for peace talks with insurgents but he will not absolve insurgents who commit heinous crimes.

34: Legal protection for policemen: "For police abuses committed in line of duty, I will take full legal responsibility"

35: Duterte wants an explanation for our loss of Scarborough Shoal: "I want to know why/how we lost Scarborough Shoal. I want to ask anyone from current executive. Trillanes went there 16 times. After the 16th time, we lost Scarborough Shoal."

36: Duterte wants Atty. Medialdea to be Executive Secretary.

37. Duterte wants Atty. Salvador Panelo Malacañan's press relations.

38. Duterte is thinking about making Gibo Teodoro defense secretary.

39: Sec of Education will be Peter Laurel.

40: Duterte wants Jess Dureza for the peace process, with Silvestre Bello to take care of the communist side. He plans to release (pardon) all political prisoners as a gesture of peace.

41. Duterte wants to finalize plans for shift to federalism: He wants 2 years then send the issue for plebiscite or referendum.

He was supposed to say more but Villar's Nacionalista Party delegation arrived for some contract signing.

So that's pretty much everything Rody Duterte said in his entire one-and-a-half hour speech. Yes, the public is used to hearing short snippets from public officials, but Duterte is not your everyday politician. He's weird and quirky, and you will need time to adjust.

TP wishes you,"Good Luck and Godspeed!" (ThinkingPinoy)

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