Contextualized: President Duterte’s achievements, according to his supporters

November 7, 2019 - 12:57 PM
Duterte's 2019 SONA entrance
President Rodrigo Duterte greets some members of Congress before delivering his 4th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 22, 2019. (Presidential photo/King Rodriguez)

Supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte were spreading posts listing his supposed achievements on Twitter while omitting the controversial aspects of his policies and consequences of his provocative rhetoric.

The tweets came after a series of earthquakes that struck Mindanao and his participation at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Bangkok.

Duterte's so-called achievements
A list of what one Twitter user calls as achievements of President Duterte. (screenshot by Interaksyon)

A certain @daughterte_22 also shared photos of Duterte drying his face with a napkin.

“There are hurtful words hurled against you from people who are brainless, but for us from Mindanao, you are the best pop,” part of the tweet written in Filipino read.

Another user shared a long thread of Duterte’s accomplishments. It has since been deleted but some users took screenshots.

The posts are shared as the supporters also defend Duterte from those complaining of his absence. Duterte skipped visiting sites affected by the series of earthquakes and aftershocks in Mindanao and events at the ASEAN Summit.

Following the three consecutive strong tremors in Mindanao, Malacañang said it was Duterte’s decision not to inspect the affected areas for now.

“The president, however, deems it appropriate to refrain from personally inspecting the disaster-stricken areas and directing actions in response to the catastrophe as there are already ongoing operations by the responsible local government units, and they have so far effectively responded to the current critical situation,” Panelo said.

Achievements, juxtaposed

Critics of the Duterte administration’s policies noted that the accomplishments have to be seen next to perceived human rights violations committed as well as his habit of reappointing previously questioned and dismissed officials and his indifference toward the working class and the poor, among others.

Some users also took the initiative to fact check the list.

China as the Philippines’ friend

Duterte has largely refused to assert the Philippines’ maritime rights as Chinese vessels harass Filipino fishermen in the West Philippine Sea.

Recently, Malacañang dismissed the harassment of a Filipino-manned vessel by a Chinese ship near Scarborough Shoal, a common fishing ground that the Chinese Navy is heavily patrolling.

Duterte also paved the rise of offshore gaming companies called POGOs after China banned gambling operations in its mainland.

This industry allowed the influx of Chinese nationals here, some with no working permits.

International backlash

Last July, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted to adopt the Iceland-backed resolution to look into killings in Duterte’s bloody drug war, waged since 2016.

Local authorities said counted at least 6,600 people killed in police anti-drug operations, but human rights activists said the body count could reach 27,000.

Most of the victims came from the urban poor and while a few were minors.

Attacks on critics and remarks about women

Earlier this month, military and police raids arrested more than 50 members of left-leaning organizations in Manila and Bacolod, Negros Occidental.

This was seen as part of Duterte’s crackdown against activists whom he alleged were either communist rebels or recruiting students.

Since 2016, the president had floated unverified ouster plots against him.

However, it was only in 2018 when the military accused educational institutions to be recruitment grounds for rebellion.

Without disclosing hard evidence, Malacañang tagged earlier this year non-government organizations, militant groups, journalists and lawyers for being part of a big destabilization plot, which was also never verified.

Duterte has received widespread criticisms for off-the-cuff remarks in public speeches, a few for using rape jokes and misogynistic comments against women.

He has also issued death threats to suspected drug users and dealers and members of the Catholic Church in public speeches.