What if Duterte did not become our president?

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte is the 16th and current President of the Philippines (image: Presidential Communications Operations Office).

The 2016 Elections is all but a thing in the past and President Rodrigo Duterte looks a lot like a King from Game of Thrones in spectacular or I daresay controversial fashion. But allow us to entertain an idea: What if Duterte lost the presidential election? Okay, ladies and gentle this is a highly improbable statistical anomaly because no statistician or accountant can ever overturn a six-million lead in an automated election.

But what if the Mar Roxas/Grace Poe merger worked? What if the silent majority actually existed and cast their votes in favor of Mar Roxas? What if Duterte failed the Halalan where the merger did happen with Mar Roxas as the flag bearer of the alliance and Poe the sacrificial lamb (with guaranteed #1 Draft Pick for the 2022 Election)? Again this is an alternate reality where Jojo Binay and Miriam Defensor-Santiago still lagged at the surveys.

So let’s explore this exciting turn of events by analyzing the possible Pros and Cons if Mar Wins and Duterte never became our President.

The Pros:
1. There’s would be no outcry against the Extra Judicial Killing (EJK for short). Because hey, this is the second coming of the Tuwid Na Daan where decency, strong economy and soft law enforcement are key to national success. There’s no such thing as War on Drugs, no crackdowns, no weird news of drug addicts surrendering in police precincts.

2. We don’t have to deal with a cursing President. And pu****ina will always be a bad word. Mar is a desente guy, he doesn’t course, he just (mis)quotes Batman on television. He doesn’t curse, and catcalls, and shame generals and harass De Lima.

3. UN would be proud… and the Philippines is still a member nation: Champion of the Human Rights, especially the drug lords.

4. There will be (more) Call Center agents. Carlos Celdran famously gave a rant to some call center explaining how Roxas gave life to the BPO industry, therefore it won’t be a surprise the industry will reach far greater heights under Roxas administration.

5. Dutertards will be silent. hehe

The Cons:

1. There will be no Freedom of Information (FOI). Whether via a form of an Executive Order or an actual Law people still deserve that access to information on where their taxes go. It’s a sorry reminder that the previous administration promised the FOI only to deny it and that trend will continue if Duterte did not win. It’s a scary bill, one must have balls to implement.

2. Gina Lopez would never take over DENR. And the giant (irresponsible) mining companies would continue devouring our environment beyond repair. Why stop the ligaya if its good for the economy?

3. More (embarrassing) Lag-lag Bala incidents. Because President Roxas believes it’s the passengers’ fault for bringing bullets with no earthly purpose in their luggage.

4. VAT is likely to go up. Look Sen. Ralph Recto is back in the senate, he onced pulled off the incredibly unfair 12% eVAT law. Why not set the bar higher. While Mar Roxas or even Grace Poe will obviously inherit the burden of pleasing the favors of the Cojuangcos and other oligarchic surnames plus Mar is an Araneta lapdog. And there’s nothing more valuable to these oligarchs than passing their taxes to the consumers and ordinary people. Sound tax reform.

5. There would be no One-Stop Service Center for OFWs. We have to admit this is something groundbreaking for the government to alleviate the suffering of many Filipino workers looking for work abroad.

6. Korina the First Lady. Queen of Tsinelas. Whether you’re a fan or a hater of hers, we would have six years to deal with her as the First Lady of this country, the way we dealt with Kris Aquino (thanks God natapos din ang drama).

7. SONA will continue to be a de-facto national fashion show.. that is always coupled with bloody rallies outside.

8. The 8888 emergency hotline is so hanggang sa pelikula na lang, the sci-fi type. Seriously I never thought we could have our own 911 just like in TV!

9. There would still be no President from Mindanao with deep roots in the Visayas and the Bisaya-speaking population majority. It’s somewhat a relief to see diversity in the executive branch where its dominated by personalities from NCR and Luzon.

10. And most importantly, if Duterte lost, we might as well abandon all hopes for a peaceful Mindanao. The current peace talks with the NPA and the communist personalities is something unprecedented in the four-decades long insurgencies. And wait! Who will dare to go all out war to destroy the terrorists Abu Sayyaf?

Now that we’ve gone through the Pros and Cons if Duterte did not become the president it’s time to dive to the more sensitive national issues that have divided the nation even after the election.

1. GMA’s Freedom. It was the Aquino administration that put the former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to jail on accounts of corruptions and well more corruptions charges. Under the Duterte administration GMA got out of jail and charges were dropped (for now). So if Mar Roxas ascended the Iron Throne of Malacanang that only spell more political persecutions and perhaps jail terms in the next coming years. I just don’t see The Little Girl roaming freely around under a Roxas or even a Poe administration. For what its worth, the people deserved at least a trial.

2. The Marcos Burial. Now this is the national issue where even the Duterte camp is divided. Just because one voted for Duterte doesn’t mean one is OK with the Marcos burial at the Libingan ng Mga Bayani. The issue is so divisive it’s like the campaign season once again. Both sides have equal good points on whether to allow Marcos a heroes’. So to answer if Duterte is not a president, will Marcos be given a Heroes Burial at the Libingan. It’s a big NO, It won’t even be on the news at the first place.

Thank fully is just a big ‘What If’ opinion. Whether you voted for Rodrigo Duterte or not, the Filipino people, simply have to move on from that ugly election. The people have chosen Duterte, an odd-ball politician with a tough stand against drugs, with a dirty mouth and a taste for the theatrics. It’s easy to disagree on his no non-sense policies and hate him for his lack of love for the criminality and human rights. But despite the flaws like all others, this is a president who actually thinks, who genuinely cares for the welfare of the country and who has the uncanny ability to instill discipline in all facets of the government. It’s his show now. You may love or hate his personality; support or criticize his policies; view him as a savior or the devil himself, p***ngina let’s enjoy the show.


About the author: Lester Glenn Tabada, 28, is a former government accountant from Southern Leyte and is currently pursuing a Fine Arts degree at the University of the Philippines – Cebu. On free time he writes for various platforms on social and print media.

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