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:
- 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.
- When actress Agot Isidro called him a “psychopath,” his response was “Well, I leave her to her constitutional right to free expression.”
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Senator De Lima, whilst being in jail, continues to publicly criticize the Duterte administration, writing daily handwritten notes for publication in the news media.
- He has never banned nor discouraged public rallies and protests.
- 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.
- 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.