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FAQs ABOUT DUTERTE (Thread): Why is Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte so popular? #HRC41
Many reasons. He depicts self as an ordinary Filipino politician, one who is approachable, who understands how a common person supposedly thinks or acts. Folksy, uses offensive language.
(2) But Duterte's popularity grows out of a widespread disenchantment and disappointment among Filipinos toward their political leaders who are perceived as generally corrupt and a political culture that is seen as driven mainly by patronage politics that is dynastic and elitist.
(3) Philippine political culture has not changed since Marcos, who -- through corruption -- damaged it in ways that ensured the perpetuation of patronage and crony politics. Marcos destroyed our democratic institutions and govts after him never quite succeeded in fixing them.
(4) Criminal justice system in shambles; police corrupt and inefficient. Military was always perceived as abusive. Judiciary not working properly; courts suffered tremendous backlogs and lacked prosecutors/judges. Legislature controlled by party in power hence no checks/balance.
(5) Succeeding govts after Marcos inherited a broken system but instead of repairing it, they decided to work with it. As a result, poverty remained widespread; more Filipinos sought employment in other countries; crime remained a problem, especially in poor urban areas.
(6) There was so much dysfunction that even terrible traffic jams in Metro Manila or the slow internet connection nationwide became political issues. It didn't help that the administration before Duterte was perceived as a bumbling, uncaring and elitist govt.
(7) By the time the presidential elections in 2016 was afoot, the opposition camp had had their issues against the incumbent perfectly lined up. Duterte's people seized on these issues with alacrity, exploiting a social media environment that had become just right for propaganda.
(8) The first thrust of the Duterte propaganda campaign was to depict Davao City, where he was mayor for more than 20 years, as a progressive Singapore-like city. They then argued that the Philippines could be like Davao and Duterte was the only one who could make that happen.
(9) Duterte's camp tapped overseas Filipinos, who were the first vectors of disinformation and propaganda for Duterte and against his opponents. Because it was a primary source of info and networking for overseas Filipinos and their families back home, Facebook proved invaluable.
(10) If you're an overseas Filipino, your primary concerns can be summed up thus: 1) you earn money to support family back home, 2) kids go to school, and 3) they don't do drugs/crime. Duterte promised them: he'd be the parent to their kids while they toil away in foreign lands.
(11) Suddenly, Filipinos - esp those abroad who saw how good governance in the rich countries they were in can work to improve lives - found a champion in Duterte. It didn't matter that he promised bloodshed. What's impt was he was willing to do the dirty work. Change was coming.
(12) When people started dying, there was outrage among rights defenders but there was louder applause from the public. It didn't help that some civil society actors supported Duterte. Finally, many Filipinos thought, here was a president willing to kill for a better Philippines.
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