Top Ten Reasons Why Philippine President Duterte Can’t Be Called A Dictator

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has been compared by his critics to the late Ferdinand E. Marcos.  They have called him a “dictator.”

But most everything he says and does confounds those who criticize him and oppose his style of leadership.

Here are just ten reasons why calling him a dictator would just blow up in the faces of his critics:

  1. While he personally agreed to the burial of Ferdinand E. Marcos in Libingan Ng Mga Bayani, he left the final decision to the Supreme Court which decided in Marcos’ favor.
  2. When actress Agot Isidro called him a “psychopath,” his response was “Well, I leave her to her constitutional right to free expression.”
  3. It wasn’t Senator Leila De Lima’s accusation that Duterte is a “murderer” that put her behind bars.  It was criminal charges brought against her before the judicial branch of government.
  4. His classic response to those who criticize him has always been: ” I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.”
  5. Despite Antonio Trillanes’ accusations about Duterte’s “unexplained wealth,” and his calls for the president’s impeachment, the senator remains a free man and has not been banned from traveling overseas.
  6. While FilAm millionaire Loida Nicolas-Lewis has repeatedly called for Duterte’s resignation to give way to VP Leni Robredo, Nicolas-Lewis’ dual citizenship has not been ordered revoked by the president.
  7. Duterte respects the mandate of the Commission on Appointments to confirm his Cabinet appointees, and he respected the rejection of the appointment of his Foreign Affairs Secretary, Perfecto Yasay.
  8. Senator De Lima, whilst being in jail, continues to publicly criticize the Duterte administration, writing daily handwritten notes for publication in the news media.
  9. He has never banned nor discouraged public rallies and protests.
  10. Despite being his most visible critic nowadays, VP Leni Robredo has been left to issue statement after statement critical of the president; he even profusely apologized to the VP when his speechwriter failed to mention and acknowledge Robredo’s presence at the Philippine Military Academy graduation ceremonies where they were both guests.
  11. Bonus reason: He has offered free airtime on the state-owned PTV-4 TV to everyone from ordinary protesters to the New People’s Army (NPA), the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) where they can express their grievances.
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