It has been a roller coaster ride for the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte was sworn into office, with the county currently divided between those who support the president and those who strongly oppose his ideas.
Duterte campaigned to stop drugs within three to six months after he became president. With drugs running rampant and the primary root of other crimes, such as robbery, murder, rape, among others, many voters saw the then-candidate as a “savior.”
The potential for “genuine change” earned Duterte over 16 million votes, which proves just how many Filipinos believed in his promise.
In fairness to the president, he is doing what he can do in fighting drugs in the country, in a very determined fight that is the most intense the country has ever seen from any presidential administration.
However, with so much tension and violence, the president has also garnered the wrath of human rights groups.
To date, there have been over 7,000 lives lost to the war on drugs.
After the first six months elapsed, Duterte asked for an extension of another six months, admitting he was unable to deliver what was expected. The people, who still believe he has the ability to cleanse the country, supported him and gave him his desired leeway.
What has become of the promise?
Recently, the president issued a statement saying he cannot end the drug problem in the country. After over a year of promising to clean the country, Duterte has backed down from the very reason people voted for him last year.
After confiscating more drugs in his first year than the entire six years of his predecessor, former President Benigno S. Aquino III, even with over one million drug users surrendering to authorities, does it still justify a broken promise?
In one way or another, I still commend the president for his attempt to clean up the country. However, it is difficult to accept the fact that the reason people voted for him was because he led voters to believe he could end the drug problem in the country – it feels like a betrayal by one’s own father.
The reason why I did not vote for him is because I knew his promise would be impossible to fulfill. Yes, he did a great job as mayor of Davao City and I certainly considered voting for him because of his accomplishments as mayor; but, looking at the bigger picture, the Philippines is not the same as Davao City.
As I predicted before the election, his promise would not be realized merely because of the geography of the country – it is impossible to control a country comprised of thousands of islands. Davao City, on the other hand, is just a city where he could control the ins and outs.
I find it unfortunate the president miscalculated the issue. Prior to running for the presidency and making such a promise, he already knew about the coastline of the country and how scarce equipment is for monitoring.
I believe he is smart enough to know these simple details, since the average citizen who is up-to-date on current event would be aware.
Now that the president has admitted he cannot control the drug problem, what happens to those who believed he was the “savior” for the country? Will they continue to be fooled by his promises or will they begin to see the real picture and how their choice has impacted the country?/WDJ