Dear President Duterte,
Let us come straight to the point, The Volatilian™ and the vast majority of its followers on this site and elsewhere fully support your untiring efforts – and those of your administration and your security forces – in ridding the Philippines of its enemies; whoever they are and wherever they are. Stay strong; the love you have for your country and its people will be rewarded.
Ignore the critics from at home and abroad who pour scorn on your desire to cleanse the country of drugs and crime and terror; their interests are not those of your people. You are not answerable to foreign NGOs and foreign media; they did not elect you. They have their own agendas and they fear the success of yours.
The vile act carried out by a rabid Abu Sayyaf terror cell in your home town of Davao makes very clear the depths to which lawlessness has sunk. You offered them amnesty if they would surrender their arms; you offered to bring them into negotiations for peace. And they replied by turning a market street into a killing field for the innocent.
The scourge of drugs that has enslaved millions of your people for too long is a scourge that has been enriched by the oxygen of inaction from past governments as they stood by, ignored it or brushed it beneath the carpet of state. You offered the drug lords safe passage if they would turn themselves in. And still they grow rich on feeding the addiction of a nation that staggers under its empty promise to blot-out the poverty from their lives.
The wave of crime and violence has created a society where neighbour steals from neighbour, where safety of self and property have no guarantee, a thug culture where muggings and rapes have become common place, where all of these warrant little more than a shrug of the shoulders from a people that has become jaded into a philosophical belief that this is truly life.
These wars are righteous; they are justified. That they would be fought, finally, was what motivated your people to hand you the presidency in such overwhelming numbers. That you are fighting them is why you have the highest performance rating of any head of state anywhere. You heard your people’s cry and you answered it while others before you turned a deaf ear to their plea and ignored them. And they are grateful.
Failure to act – which is what allowed this wretched state of affairs to culminate in the daily toll of death from crime and drugs and terror – is morally indefensible; it is a desecration of the people’s will and a thwarting of the responsibility to serve them.
These are testing times. That you want the best for the Filipino people is without question. The Philippines can and will become a peaceful and industrious country with a vibrant economy. The Volatilian™ has no doubt about that. But to arrive there requires that the stables are cleaned out once and for all. Successful economies cannot function in a well of lawlessness and corruption; they cannot flourish in a pit of despair – realities which you and your administration know too well, yet which others failed to see.
Investment for your country will come, but not in the dribs and drabs as it has in the past as risk scared off the hopes of reward. Investors know the potential of the Philippines; they want to be there. And when this chapter of social upheaval has been closed and a new chapter of stability has been opened, they will be there; they’ll flood in.
Fellow members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have had to meet similar challenges in the past. Singapore, once held hostage by internal rebellion, today is a burgeoning economic powerhouse. It knows, from its own history that the course you are perusing is the right one. Just last week the island state’s Ambassador to Manila, Kok Li Peng, declared that your administration can deliver a Philippines that is wealthy, modern, clean and safe.
Pay no heed to the Washington one-size-fits-all view of the world. President Obama is not in a position to offer advice on any formula for social harmony in your country – the violent state of the cities in his own is testament to that. The only view he has had of the Philippines is from the backseat of a bulletproof limousine passing fleetingly though cordoned-off streets en routé to Malacañang. He is not qualified to provide good counsel. Nor are those closer to home, in the domestic media and in Congress, who demean you for the action which you have taken. Their negligence is the true crime here.
Take heart, stay resolute; for every enemy you have 10,000 friends. We are many that understand your passion and your purpose; they are few. And the multitude that supports you will not forsake you.