You need to understand. Mayor is our heart and soul. He protected us. He is not a dictator and he listens to us. That's why we are emotional. He is like our father, he will do anything to make his children safe from any harm, he provides what we want and he understand what we need.
Please excuse us if we are too affected and emotional.
Again you will never understand cause you are not from Davao and you haven't been there.
Let me tell you a story of a boy who grew up in a city in the south. This city has known peace since the time he blossomed into manhood. He feels safe when he walks down the streets even at past midnight. Local businesses are booming despite the conflicts in the restive regions of the island, and social institutions, like hospitals and schools actually serve the needs of the public. Even the jails for women are clean and well-maintained. There is a stand-by response team for fires and other emergencies. While issues of poverty or petty crimes still persist, there is a pervading sense of order. Mayor makes sure everyone follows the law. He doesn't steal. He lives a frugal life. He drives a taxi from time to time to hear personally what the people need. Impressive feat, in a country where most politicians feel entitled as they go on with the business of governing.
This boy, by stroke of luck, had to relocate. In the imperial capital where everything is a mess. Road gridlock makes commuting a daily pain. Trains break down all the time. His phone gets snatched, his wallet, stolen. Hospitals and schools operate beyond capacity. Corruption is rampant, the elite feels they own everything. The government protects its interest, unlike in the south where he feels the city serves its citizens. He had thoughts of giving up, to return to his homeland if not for the good pay. Then one day, the Mayor decides to run for President. The boy knew him well, like how he knew his own father: Imperfect, but effective. Reasonable, but applies discipline when needed. Protective to the point of using measures, outsiders will frown upon.
Overnight, he dons his colors to campaign for the man. This is our Mayor, and change is coming.
Unfortunately, I am not the boy and in my eyes, I will never see what the Mayor has done for his city. Perhaps, his accomplishments are possible given its small population. Maybe, they knew him, like an old patriarch who they must follow like obedient children. I do not know. And often I do not care. Except that from time to time, I remind myself to spare his city when portraying the Mayor as the candidate who shouldn't be the next president.
He doesn't represent me. That, I posted on my Twitter account.
And for a number of reasons.
For one, he kills drug peddlers. This is all over the news. Even the Human Rights Watch has confirmed this. What if his death squad mistakes an innocent teen from a drug pusher? Who will account for the life that had been lost? Then he curses and treats women like sex objects. One that should be seen as conquests, and not partners in progress. He also doesn't mind engaging diplomats in verbal spats. Remember what he said to the Australian and the United States ambassadors after the rape joke? The Mayor doesn't even have the social niceties when describing countries and their local problems. I won't be surprised of the diplomatic snubs should he becomes the next leader. Whispers also tell of his allegiance with the Communists, his alliance with Beijing, and his plans of giving up the islands in the West Philippine Sea in exchange for a railway system in Mindanao. There is so much to tell that would make me a hater, but nothing compares to the brutality of his supporters - some personal acquaintances - who have marked me as the enemy because I speak against the Mayor.
Only a few nights ago, a friend of a friend suggested that I should consult a doctor implying that I was mad. He had the gall to block me, then speak my name when I can't read it on his Twitter feed. Fortunately, word had reached me through a concerned friend. Screen-capping his comment, I posted the update on my Twitter account for his barkada to find out. There was also another friend, of a friend, who told me through a sub tweet that I was an animal who had no achievements. This was after I told his bet that he's "yawa" for duping his supporters. When confronted about his remarks, he didn't reply to my direct message, letting his friends instead to speak on his behalf.
Rabid dogs without balls.
If there is one thing I've learned this election, it is that politics is personal. What you say against a person who speak out against your chosen will stay after the ballots have been counted. No doubt, I will remember what they said, not because of the Mayor and his forgettable antics. But because of how I was treated by boys whose choice of candidate I never judged. So much for helping me appreciate who their Mayor is.
Fortunately, there are people who are patient enough to reach out - not to win my vote - but to see their mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, in a better light. They are the ones who shaped this entry, and by extension, my personal assessment of their candidate. It helps too, that my favorite Aunt is for the Mayor. It is because of her that I was able to distinguish the trolls from genuine supporters. She may hate the candidate I am supporting, but it doesn't change my fondness for her.
So is my willingness to recognize her leader.
If surveys are indication of who the next leader is, Digong will be the next President of the Republic. It will upset the rest, while vindicating those who stood with him, including the fictional boy in this entry who yearns nothing but a better Philippines. Being the outsider who is suspicious of those I don't know, and for the trolls who have hurt so many instead of trying to create bridges of understanding, the Mayor will not get my vote. But deep down, my sincere wish is to one day send a message to the men who overlooked my hatred and tell them I was wrong and they are right.
That beneath the facade, their Mayor has nothing but love for this nation.