Like him or not, one thing I can say about Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte is his not being bound by convention. He allocates for himself freedom of thought. Except for those with deep and radical minds (recall Galileo who said Earth revolved around the sun when everybody else thought Sun circled the earth), or those who are “unwise” or “uneducated” (recall the Hans Christian Andersen’s story about the child who saw the Emperor naked when everyone else saw how dapper His Majesty was), not everyone can do what he does.
For example, firecrackers are banned in Davao City. They are not elsewhere. It is also only in Davao City where nobody smokes in areas where there are structures above the head of smoking bandits.
Now comes Duterte saying he would favor a coalition government with the communists if he becomes President. Left-leaning politicians have been losing electoral clout in recent years, and no politician—except Duterte—would dare diminish his or her chances of winning future elections by proposing any semblance of structure that would accommodate co-existence (in both mind and body, I suppose) with communists.
Manny Pinol, journalist-politician-sportsman, supports Duterte and discusses Duterte’s out-of-the-box paradigm in his (Pinol) facebook page:
The mind of Rody Duterte
‘WHO’S AFRAID OF JOMA AND THE COMMUNISTS?’
By Manny Pinol
The weekly series on “The Mind of Rody Duterte” continues on Jan. 4 with a very sensational and controversial issue on the Davao City Mayor’s thoughts on the country’s 46-year-old communist rebellion.
Following his off-the-cuff commentary on what he would do to the communist New People’s Army and its umbrella organization, the National Democratic Front (NDF), if he would become President of the Philippines, Duterte virtually stirred the hornets’ nest when he said he would bring in NDF chairman Jose Maria Sison to work with him in a coalition government.
In a country of people whose political views are defined as Far Right, Right, Centrist, Left of Center and Extreme Left, his comments immediately elicited angry reactions from the Far Right which has accused Duterte of being a communist or at the very least a communist sympathizer.
“He will turn the Philippines into a communist country,” complained one Duterte detractor.
To that fear, Duterte’s response is: “Did Davao City become a communist city?”
Following the bloody neutralization of the Communist assassination squad, the Sparrow Unit, which turned Davao City into a laboratory of urban terrorism, Duterte entered into a modus vivendi with the New People’s Army and other armed groups, and succeeded in making Davao City the 4th Safest City in the World.
It is a simple “Live and Let Live” formula devised by a local government official in dealing with a decades-old national issue which has not been resolved by the Central Government.
In spite of this, rumors are rife that the reason why Davao City is not being harassed by the NPAs is because Duterte is one of them.
Last Monday, over dinner with his friend Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, I confronted Rody Duterte with pointed and probing questions on his views about the communist rebellion and how he would end it if he would become President.
On Sunday, Jan. 4, this page will provide answers to the following questions:
“Is Rody Duterte a communist?”
“In a coalition government with the communists, how would Rody Duterte ensure that they would not be able to grab power?”
“What role would the Communists play under a Duterte Presidency?”
“Once the coalition is forged, what would happen to the armed cadres of the New People’s Army?”
“Would there still be forced taxation by the Left in the countryside after the forging of the coalition?”
Because these questions are raised in the hypothetical context of Duterte running a national government, I thought it would have been better if Pinol added the question of how, under such imagined conditions, Duterte would manage resentment from the military and police establishment.
Although it is safe to say, based from reports here and there, that some factions in the military make money from various fronts of the insurgency (eg, some members of the military and police forces reported to have sold ordnance to the NPA, MILF or MNLF), there are also those who are bound to disagree and even take action to express such a disagreement (an example would be the coup attempts against the Cory Aquino government). Also, while government forces who became victims of counter-insurgency operations may not be consequential enough to pose threats to an envisioned Duterte government (those who die in battles constitute mostly of foot soldiers), there are big guns who think and act like champions of correcting inequities.