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Unfinished business




By Hector R. R. Villanueva

Hector R. R. Villanueva

 “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him on other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” — Walter Lippman

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is neither a visionary nor a revolutionary.

He is a veteran traditional political and mayor accustomed to warlordism and autocratic rules which he is putting to good use as President of the Republic.

However, with less than three years between elections, PDU30 will be hard put to accomplish his electoral promises, mission, and advocacies unless the country shifts to a parliamentary form of government and he lifts term limits which, owing to the health problems, the probability may not be a good option.

Thus, while President Duterte had made dazzling changes and innovations, such as cleaning Boracay, rehabilitating Manila Bay, modernizing the Armed Forces and dramatically improving the lives and salaries of soldiers and civil servants, the ponderous issues and reforms have remained “unfinished business,” hanging in the air, so to speak, such as the war against drug trafficking, corruption, and heinous crimes which are unwinnable and interminable though President Duterte made notable progress.

Moreover, President Duterte’s flagship federalism, like constitutional revision, appear to be losing traction and public enthusiasm.

The country too has not master plan for “reverse engineering” essential for industrialization.

Nonetheless, there have been frenetic activities and rapid development of cities, such as Iloilo, Davao,  and Lipa in spite of skilled labor shortage.

In other words, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte may have swallowed more than he can chew with some of his outrageous promises.

Further, the President cannot be hands-on on the economy and political future while squabbling and warring with religious leaders and the United States at the same time.

Hence, there is the plausible danger that there will be massive unraveling of President Duterte’s scheme and innovations as his successor would want to chart his own path and destiny.

Understandably, there will be a reckoning and accounting of President Duterte’s watch.

Last but not least, was it prudent and wise move of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte to generously and magnanimously give away a large chunk of Mindanao to the Bangsamoro when the various tribes themselves are constantly in conflict?

How will the Bangsamoro autonomy unfold when President Duterte is no longer around to conciliate the various tribes?

When all is said and done, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is not a well-rounded leader and intellectual in the class of Manuel Quezon, Ferdinand Marcos, or Fidel V. Ramos, whose aura and charisma were conspicuous.

Nevertheless, President Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte is a different breed and personality who has accomplished much.

He is not healthy and but neither is he dying.

As Mark Twain once chortled, “The report of my death was an exaggeration.” PUD30 can share the same humor.

You be the judge.


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