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What to do with a lemon?

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Leandro DD Coronel

Leandro DD Coronel

By Leandro DD Coronel

 

Some people are hoping for karma. Others are looking for an extrajudicial intervention. Some pray for intervention from an even higher authority.

The Filipino people are experiencing trauma. Today’s generation hasn’t experienced anything like it before, even if you count in Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law. That’s because today’s younger generation wasn’t around when Marcos imposed his own brand of martial rule.

There hasn’t been any disruption like this before. What’s scary is that it can still get worse.

From the beginning President Duterte came in like a primitive leader who always wanted to get his way. From the beginning he wanted to be the boss. He has admitted to ruling like a dictator.

Due process is an inconvenience. Democracy just delays things. He prefers shortcuts.

Killing thousands of suspected drug dealers without benefit of a day in court is a shortcut. Firing bureaucrats without a hearing is a shortcut.

He insults and castigates people in public, robbing them of their dignity. You’re lucky if you’re in his good graces because you can get away with things. If he likes you, you’re almost untouchable.

But this only works when the boss is infallible, someone who is perfect and never commits a mistake.

But, of course, nobody’s perfect, everybody makes mistakes. And this is where Mr. Duterte’s supporters are making a mistake, that they’re willing to give him virtual carte-blanche and rule with practically no restraints.

The more intelligent among the Filipinos should have realized this. They’re entrusting the whole nation to a fellow human being who, like everybody else, makes mistakes.

A democracy requires participation by the people in public affairs and consultation by the politicians about policymaking. But today, dissent is muzzled, with critics gagged to submission.

What we have today is not a democracy. What we have is a society reduced to conformity, under threat from a mean and “unforgiving” government.

The Filipinos committed a grave mistake in the voting booth in May 2016. They will have to live with that mistake.

That’s what I mean about people being fallible and prone to making mistakes. We all make mistakes. What do we do with a lemon then?

***

 

Tantrum Ergo. The administration may have bitten more than it could chew by wanting to accomplish more than it can deliver with its ambitious infrastructure program. By imposing too many taxes just to be able to “build, build, build,” it appears to be willing to starve the people just to impress.

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