As part of my work, I’ve done briefings to groups from the Philippines. They often remark that their biggest wish for their country would be for a tough leader, like Lee Kuan Yew, to be elected so that the rampant crime and corruption can be wiped out.
Based on the recent news that’s exactly what they got:
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is a tough-talking, boastful man known for hyperbole and crass statements. During the election, he promised to fatten the fish of Manila Bay with the bodies of criminals. He has bragged about killing three men suspected of kidnapping and raping a woman. He has called several public figures, including the American president and the pope, sons of whores.
The international news about President Duterte has been extremely negative. Most of it tends to focus on the harsh words that he has for everyone who would tell him to put a lid on his tone. So far at least he appears to be keeping to his promises.
Only time will tell whether he’s the panacea that the Philippines has been longing for. Based on what I’ve read so far, I’m not hopeful.
The old adage, ‘be careful what you wish for’ comes to mind.