Above anything else, what made Rodrigo Duterte president was his understanding of the needs of an everyday Filipino.

Aries Arugay, a professor of Political Science from the University of the Philippines Diliman, made a post election piece on why Duterte won in the 2016 elections.

He said that the impression of the Aquino administration on the public has so much to do with Duterte’s win.

Aquino was an elitist, with a clear focus on economic growth and stability. He also has high approval ratings, and an obvious success in the country’s economic growth. The only problem however, is that these developments were only felt by the top one percent.

 “His accountability campaign was selective – it severely punished his administration’s enemies while its political allies were unscathed. Economic growth was deemed one of the highest in the region but its benefits were only felt by the top one per cent of the population, with the rest of the country remaining mired in high unemployment and poverty” said Arugay.

What ultimately made Duterte president: He understood the ordinary Filipino, says UP prof
Photo by Inquirer
This lapse in the Aquino administration was understood by Duterte. This is what made him gain 16 million votes, or 84 percent of the overall voting population.

What made Duterte win? Arugay lists the factors:

Dissatisfaction from the previous administration: The Filipinos’ dissatisfaction with the incumbent administration then made them decline Mar Roxas. The more he championed for Aquino, the more unpleasant he became in the eyes of the voters. 

“In the end, the incumbent failed to appreciate that poverty, inequality, corruption, lack of order, and criminality were true facts suffered daily by ordinary Filipinos.”

Duterte was a new face addressing old problems. Duterte was against so many odds while he was campaigning. He had a small, divided political party and was against political elites.  He was the only one however, who understood the needs of Filipinos. 

“Duterte pounced on his opponents over their lack of concern with basic, visceral issues that  affected all Filipinos. He promised to crack down on crime and illegal drugs but at the same time offer a hand of peace to communists and Muslim rebels. As a candidate from the margins of society ignored by the political establishment, he wanted to develop the outer regions of the Philippines by shifting to a federal system of government. These visions of change fascinated voters across socioeconomic classes.”

An army of True Believers. What even became as a shock in the elections was the emergence of a citizen movement. All kinds of Filipinos, conservatives to liberals, catholics to muslims, young and old, became united and relentless in their campaigns for Duterte, especially on social media.

Criticized and ridiculed by media and elites as “Duter-tards,” this grassroots “army of true believers” voluntarily lent their time, money, and energy to campaign for their candidate, even without orders from the party’s central command. 

“Duterte’s victory was a revolt against a regime that stubbornly remained elitist, exclusionary, and unresponsive to pressing problems faced by the populace.” Arugay said. MJM

Source: Asia Pacific

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What ultimately made Duterte president: He understood the ordinary Filipino, says UP prof What ultimately made Duterte president: He understood the ordinary Filipino, says UP prof Reviewed by Kristian S. on 22 August Rating: 5

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