What Do You Think…

… of President Duterte’s first year in office?

According to the Republic of the Philippines’ Presidential Communications Operations Office in Malacañang, Manila, President Duterte enjoyed a “fruitful tour of duty” during his first year in office.
Photo courtesy Presidential Communications Operations Office

Recently, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte marked the first year anniversary of his six year term. His presidency has focused on the war on drugs but has been affected by martial law in Mindanao, the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes cemetary, closer relationships with China and Russia, and a distancing of relationships with the United States.
Fil-Am Voice staff asked members of Maui’s Filipino community “What do you think of President Duterte’s first year in office?”

Audie of Wailuku whose roots are from Gabu Norte, Laoag City: “As an outside observer and follower of the progress of my homeland, Philippines, I think President Duterte’s first year in office are full of successful challenges from the eradication of illegal drugs and corruption issues to improving the economy. I think Philippines is on its way to becoming one of the much improved South East Asian nations because of President Duterte’s humble leadership.”

Brigida of Kahului whose roots are from Bacarrra, Ilocos Norte: “Doing good, better than Trump, the president of the United States.”

Jomar of Kīhei whose roots are from Badoc, Ilocos Norte: “Progression through aggression is an action that’s either practical or unethical. In my opinion, it’s both for Duterte. Unlike Trump’s promise to drain the so called, ‘swamp,’ he’s practically filling it with more corporate monsters, handing them the keys to the board of water supply. Unlike Trump, Duterte struck hard and deep. He has completed what his predecessors before him would never consider. He’s a man who sought one solution against aggressors, in his mind, those who poisoned the lives of others, cannot exist. Immediate action without hesitation is a trait that I so much admire. Although his wishes bring practical solutions, the life, liberty or property without due process of law is a blatant aspect that encourages vigilantes to rise, revolt, essentially giving them license to kill. Greg Bear, a fantastic author of science fiction wrote, ‘The peaceful one is at war without and within.’ Those words are supremely just to what and who is Duterte to me.”

Jose of Wailuku whose roots are from Bacarra, Ilocos Norte: “Good… I approve of the way he is governing the Philippines. Kill all the druggies and lock all the people in jail that are corrupt.”
Julita of Kīhei whose roots are from Sinait, Ilocos Sur: “Not good; not doing his job.”
Juvy of Lahaina whose roots are from Laoag City: “I’ll give President Rodrigo R. Duterte a grade of 85%. He is delivering what he promised during his campaign: crackdown on drugs, lowered the rate of crimes and corruption. When I went to the Philippines last February, there was really change. At the airport, there’s free Wi-Fi, restrooms so clean and immigration people no longer ask what’s inside your luggage. President Duterte has 5 more years to serve, and hopefully he will deliver what he promised. As a Commander in Chief I’ll give President Rodrigo R. Duterte a 100% grade. It shows how the President supports his soldiers.”

Liezl of Kahului whose roots are from Cebu, Bohol, Bukidnon, Cagayan de Oro, and Misamis Oriental: “President Duterte’s 1st year of office, I must say that he did a great job and will continue doing what is right for the people of the Philippines. I just came from the Philippines last week after spending three weeks there and I have noticed that there are a lot of changes. I’ve seen less street children and beggars. Streets/highways are way cleaner now. There are a lot of establishments and work opportunities for the citizens. President Duterte is the answer for all problems that we have in the Philippines. Peace and order is way better than before!”

Marilyn of Kahului whose roots are from Ilocos Norte: “I may not agree with the way he eliminates drug people but I guess that works. So I think he is doing good—not 100% but he is okay.”

Maryhan of Kahului whose roots are from Badoc, Ilocos Norte: “He’s doing a good job but why does he have to kill people to clean the country?”

Michelle of Kahului whose roots are from Pangasinan and Bohol: “He has done a lot to stop crime but I haven’t seen him do too much regarding the economy. I would give him a grade of C for his performance as President.”

Monica of Kahului whose roots are from San Esteban, Ilocos Sur: “In my opinion, he made a great improvement with the Bureau of Customs’ bad reputation especially in the airport where staff will automatically be given at least $10 and I experienced it when we went home in 2011 (inserted inside your passport); this will enable you to pass the customs inspection. Since President Duterte was elected, you don’t have to worry about putting any money inside your passports anymore when you go through the airport customs inspection. Hats off to his government officials who truly wiped out those corrupt staff.”

Nenita of Kahului whose roots are from Ilocos Sur: “I like him, he is doing a good job. He is cleaning up the country.”

Nobles of Kahului whose roots are from Badoc, Ilocos Norte: “Doing a good job; some are happy, some are sad because they are losing loved ones.”

Orlina of Kīhei whose roots are from Badoc, Ilocos Norte: “He’s doing some good, some bad.”

Paolo of Kahului whose roots are from Urdaneta, Pangasinan: “I feel President Duterte’s promise to rid the country of drugs and crime is a lethal approach. There is no evidence that executions deter people from committing crime. In fact, these executions only put innocent lives at risk. I am a registered nurse so I live by the “Nurses Model” to help and heal all people. Period.”

Sergei of Kahului whose roots are from Dingras, Ilocos Norte: “I was so confused because the only way he could make the country good is to create violence. And because it happened, I hope he is the “David” that was sent by the Lord, to make peace.”

Shirley of Kahului whose roots are from Pangasinan: “I’m glad that he buried Marcos.”

Virgie of Makawao whose roots are from Sinait, Ilocos Sur: “Not doing his job, swears a lot.