Philippines Election

Filipinos have Spoken Loud and Clear

The Philippine election is over and there is a new, as yet unclear direction that this country I now call home is heading in. Due to laws barring foreigners from getting involved in elections in any form, I like many foreign expats in the Philippines have had to stand by silently and observe a process that could have far reaching effects on our lives. In the end, Filipinos have voted for change, and though I believe change is necessary I had hoped it would be accomplished in what I feel would have been a safer, more stable and gradual way.

Filipinos have elected Rodrigo Duterte as their next President. As the election process started, I have to admit Duterte was attractive to me as a candidate for personal reasons. I and several dozen others are embroiled in an all out war with a despicable Norwegian Expat that has damaged all our lives irreparably. It has been a long and hard battle bringing him to justice and ridding ourselves of the pain he continues to cause us, but it has been frustrating too, as his tentacles of corruption run deep in the Filipino justice and political arenas. He openly and publicly boasts of his payoffs and the protection from prosecution his well placed bribes afford him, which we have found to be accurate and extremely difficult to overcome. I looked at Duterte as a candidate and longed for a man such as he, with a quick fix and the guts to clean up the corruption we have faced in our battle, once and for all bring closure to a nightmare that has caused us all many sleepless nights and anxiety.

As the election process moved along though, my feelings and opinions of the man changed. To be blunt, the idea of him becoming the next president of this country was a scary concept to consider and I began to believe that as much as I personally hoped for drastic change to possibly solving my own problem, for the Philippines as a country, I had reservations that the ends did not justify the means this man might use.

I do not believe my fears were baseless. Though there are definitely some major problems this country faces, it will be a dangerous path for this country should they allow their new President to operate above and beyond the law. Power corrupts the best humans among us and no one man should be ever allowed to be judge, jury and executioner. At the onset of such an arrangement, intentions may be pure, however invariably at some point best intentions run astray and can and will be abused. Historically this happens little by little until it is not only the criminals that are being eliminated, but anyone who dares to show dissent. Putting aside for a minute the intentional abuse of power that is possible, one has to consider that no matter how good a person is, all humans make mistakes. It is our nature. If one man is granted absolute power, it always follows that the mistakes he makes cannot be held in check or remedied. In a democracy there are checks and balances that guard against these scenarios, and though no system is flawless, democracies historically by and large provide better protection of rights and freedoms to their constituents.

Anyway, whatever I felt during the election is a irrelevant now. The people of the Philippines have spoken and whether I agree with their choice or not, I accept and respect it. For better or worse, Duterte is in, and all that is left is to carefully watch where he takes this country and how it will affect all our lives.

My personal hope is that he will make good on his promise to clean up the corruption, while acting in accordance with the laws of the Philippines. as a side note,I also hope that he understands the need for foreign investment into this country and will promote policies that bring that investment into the Philippines in a responsible way that will ensure the continued growth and prosperity to all people of this great country.

From here, I believe it is my responsibility to give Duterte a chance with an open mind and work with him and all Filipinos in unison for the betterment of all of us who call the Philippines home. Should he go down the path that some fear, then I will always have the choice to leave.

What will Duterte do now that he is in power after the recent election? some insight