Post-election days were a bit of a letdown. The verbal pyrotechnics of the New President were just that exactly. Lots of barks, some bite. The bites were a bit interesting though. Lots of news now of drug pushers surrendering themselves to the authorities for fear of being actually shot by citizens. Or is it because they’re actually pro-Duterte? How does that even happen. Maybe these are not your ordinary criminals, maybe they are just citizens albeit rowdy scrappy ones who are sick and tired of the hacendado class of which Noynoy Aquino and his chosen one Mar Roxas are prime examples.
Local government officials seem to be caught up in this spirit of ‘cleaning up’ of criminal elements, albeit the ‘lowly’ types. You see these suspects, because they are still actually to be tried in a court of law, being humiliated by having to parade in the town center in full view of people. Placards and signs they carry highlight their transgressions. There was that one guy who was caught shoplifting, and as part of his punishment, he was made by the mayor to walk in the middle of the market and loudly proclaim that he is a thief.
What is most exciting in my opinion is the possibility of a saner government response to the decades-long Communist rebellion. Duterte is rational, even warm towards leftist figures. He just appointed several as heads of crucial government agencies. The question now, if an agreement does happen between the leftist authorities and the government, is whether the rank and file cadres will follow through with it. The top and the bottom of the hierarchy could have different opinions. Worst case scenario is that a splinter group, or splinter groups, would emerge.
The bourgeois character of the Presidency does still emerge. For all his warmness towards the Left, Duterte is very much friendly towards the Marcos Clan. Which isn’t really surprising considering both belong to the same economic and political group. These families move within the same circles, they interact, they know each other.