Enter a rugged survivor for all seasons
IT WAS Juan Ponce Enrile (JPE) who first attested to the man’s incredible prowess.
JPE called Rodrigo Duterte an astute politician who was merely trying to test the roughness or smoothness of the public.
The compact assessment came at the height of the Duterte hesitation game, when he had the nation on his palms, all of us wondering whether or not the fool would agree to go for the presidency.
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Critics and foes had no choice but cry that Duterte was nothing more than a madman fueled by his own dirty delusions.
Maybe, but amazed citizens had also started asking what sort of a spellbinder was Duterte, who marched to a different drummer, uttered the most atrocious phrases (like cussing the Pope), vowed mass murder to stamp criminality, owned up to immorality, doing and saying unthinkable things no serious God-fearing politician would dare try.
Wouldn’t we all end up hooking another perfect fool for free?
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Sorry folks, but here he is, the winner and new champ, who had to endure all forms of character assassination, hysterical attacks from partisan media, record defamation, including wholesale rejection from the national Catholic bishops conference.
Maybe he has got great balls (of fire) between his legs, not only two, tres cojones?
A survivor for all seasons, Duterte came up with a fiery masterful performance hitherto unseen in the national political battlefield.
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It was a rare display of courage and durability.
After having had to stay on his feet through the relentless bombardment, it was doubly amazing how Duterte ended up scoring a blowout victory equivalent to a knockout in championship boxing.
Well, lest it be overlooked, that was nothing short of a unified people power punch that gladly, gallantly pushed him into power.
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The man also did it in his own crude way, with no centralized machinery to speak of.
What magic did he weave, and how did he end up blossoming into a full-fledged cult hero at the height of unified attacks from practically all quarters, while political scientists were not looking?
Didn’t the contest ultimately add up to a clash between a shallow lame-duck leadership and a daring warrior who has vowed to honestly work and fight for the safety and comfort of the people?
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If in boxing Duterte might have introduced a new style of fighting which could be embraced by aspirant new leaders in the future.
He was crude, but was a very creative risk-taker.
He pushed his luck, working past boundaries, at times falling into pits he had himself unwittingly dug up.
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Duterte ended up on top because he knew how to laugh at himself even when down.
He never for a moment stammered. He never hesitated fighting the good fight.
The Catholic Church, after putting up a rare fighting stance (versus Duterte), has offered “vigilant collaboration.”
Duterte, as early as the day before, had asked his opponents to be friends with him again.