MAGANES: Pray for President Duterte

June 12, 2017 at 11:12 am Leave a comment

The siege of the military and police forces of Marawi City (Lanao del Sur) following the declaration of martial law in Mindanao by President Rodrigo Duterte is not a big joke. As of this writing, the battle between the government forces and the ISIS-inspired Maute Group has not yet ended. Many lives have been wasted- from the government forces, civilians and the rebel groups. Peace in southern Mindanao seems elusive.
The Congress, both House of Representatives and the Senate House, has already spoken. Our representatives and senators have thrown support to the declaration of Martial Law by President Duterte. This means that they did not reject the declaration of martial law, which will last within 60 days after it was declared. Martial Law is the only weapon of the President to avert rebellion and invasion to maintain public safety. But, it seems many Filipinos are not keen about it. Instead of looking at it objectively, they are trying to pull down the President, albeit because of political reasons and not for the love of the Philippines. This is very disheartening because we have a President who is sincere in his quest for a better Philippines and yet, may are still thinking to further their political agenda.
Social media, especially Facebook and Twitter, is swarmed with negative comments about President Duterte’s declaration of martial law. They were saying that it was not yet ripe for such declaration since the invasion of the Maute Group of Marawi City could still be contained by our government forces. These netizens do not know the underlying reasons why President Duterte declared martial law. Do they have the data and information on intelligence reports on the extent of Maute’s operation? While some of the incidents in Marawi City were viewed from our television sets, these are just the surface of what’s really happening inside the city.
At one point, when President Duterte was addressing the military troops in Iligan City where he sarcastically talked about “raping women” and he will take full responsibility, mainstream media as well as netizens feasted on it.  President Duterte is on his eleventh month in office. With that period of time, we should have been accustomed to his rhetoric. He is a President who talked undiplomatic and yet his messages are accepted by many Filipinos. He talks without pretensions. He talks straight from his heart that could be understood by the common tao.
I am not an avid fan of President Duterte, but he’s the President we’ve got. It maybe God’s intervention why he was elected by the majority of the Filipinos. During the campaign in 2016, President Duterte lacked a political machinery. He was a reluctant presidential contender. He was, according to him, not backed up by governors, mayors and village leaders. But then, he survived the presidential derby and emerged as a winner.
President Duterte’s victory was the victory of the common Filipinos. He was able to convey his message well to the Filipinos. During the presidential campaign, he zeroed in on eradicating the illegal drugs, ending corruption in public offices and terminating all forms of criminalities. These were the messages that endeared him to the Filipino masses. Until now, the support has not waned and remain overwhelming.
What’s happening to us Filipinos? While we are always talking about reforms, we have not composed ourselves to support a leader who is trying to address the perennial problems we have experienced with the previous administrations. After President Ferdinand Marcos, five more leaders emerged – President Corazon Aquino, President Fidel V. Ramos, President Joseph Estrada, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and President Benigno Aquino III. Those were the years of missed opportunities for the Philippines to move on. They promised us a society that was different from Marcos, and yet looking back Marcos presidency was at its best amidst the proclamation of Martial Law that lasted for almost two decades.

We have not really moved forward from those years as a nation. Illegal drugs proliferated in our midst, corruption in all levels in the government service was rampant and all forms of criminalities have not been averted or subdued. It is now that we have a leader who could articulate the language of the masses. He may talk like a “kanto boy” or to some extent undiplomatic and he acts not like a statesman, but those qualities are loved by the Filipino people.
Lately, I posted to my Facebook account the following message:
“Ako ay nagtataka sa mga kadugo nating Filipino. Noong binomba ang France at marami ang namatay, pati picture nila sa FB ay pinalitan para makidalamhati.
Kamakailan lang, maraming nasawi sa Manchester Arena sa London dahil sa concert ni Arriane Grande marami ang nakidalamhati.
Pero dito sa mismong bayan nating Filipinas, maraming namatay dahil sa Maute Group sa Marawi City, si President Duterte pa  ang binabatikos dahil nagdeklara ng Martial Law sa Mindanao. Anong values meron tayo?
 Kailangan pa bang umabot tayo sa puntong parang Syria na ang Filipinas? I don’t find any logic  of what  our compatriots are doing.”
With that post, many friends of mine reacted. Here are some of their comments and reactions:
Lourdes Teneripe- “Yang mga bumabatikos na mga yan, mga utak nasa talampakan…inggit Ang naghahari sa katawan…tatak jaundice!”
Albertini De Guzman- “That’s the Crab Mentality of Filipinos and their Double Standard.”
Danny Mendoza- “gayyem make a logo of marawi or a color that symbolizes our deep symphaty for peace in mindanao and we will put it in our profile …our prayer for peace in mindanao….”
There are many other comments that are worth reading but could not be written here because of lack of space. However, this comment has struck me the most.
Elena Sarmiento Gravador- “Tama ka manong.. Let’s all pray for our country and not to condemn our president. Dapat nga siya ang una nating ipinapanalangin, for wisdom and guidance.”
And why not? Why don’t we just pray for President Duterte for a well guided wisdom from the Lord.
(For comments and suggestions, email me at or Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at )

Entry filed under: News.

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