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Unorthodox governance




“Nature has left this tincture in the blood, that all men would by tyrants if they could.” — Daniel Defoe

By Hector R. R. Villanueva

Hector R. R. Villanueva

Like it or not, the unorthodox and bizarre style of governance of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has kept democratic institutions standing and intact; the economy robust and resilient; and the country relatively stable politically.

His method is effective, and he remains highly popular after three years in office.

However, there is much to be desired as President Duterte’s authoritarian tendencies and impulsive decisions and acerbic comments will sooner than later begin to unravel.

Moreover, President Duterte has flooded the civilian bureaucracy with unknown presidential appointees who tend to just preudently wait for presidential instructions before making decisions or initiating actions which prompted a lawmaker to remark that the President has a “shallow bench”.

There is also a popular “tongue-in-cheek” belief that to qualify for a Cabinet or senior position, one must either hail from Davao or Mindanao, or has been assigned to Davao at sometime in the past, or has graduated from San Beda, or a fraternity brother or a retired military officer who will mindlessly and blindly obey orders.

These unusual tendencies have been a unique feature of the Duterte Administration which latter propensity has been misconstrued as ominous “militarization.”

First, understandably, President Duterte will only recruit men and women whom he can trust and there are not many either because his casting net is limited or, as they say his desert is small.

You be the judge.


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