A popular columnist once wrote that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has become a magnet for the poor who are always the victims of injustice in the country. This is quite true. The poor could not afford to hire a lawyer so when he is the victim of injustice, he has no other recourse but to curse the heavens in silence.
Let me quote Ayala Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, who share his thoughts on who should be the next President of the country which goes,
The leader of the country has to give people hope, the leader of the country needs to make the people feel good about the future.
The quote is very fitting to the story I am about to share with you, since this clearly articulates why this man from San Pablo City, Laguna has turned into a one-man Duterte campaigner that almost borders on obsession.
By the way, this story was shared by Manny Pinol, a known supporter of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Please the read the full text to better appreciate this.
Shortly before my birthday in December of last year, I and my friend, Rene Concordia of San Pablo City, travelled to the Bicol Region for the Federalism Listening Tour which featured Mayor Rody Duterte as the main speaker.
It was a long drive and I spent my birthday on the road. But the boredom was shattered by the jokes and the laughter of Concordia’s driver, Dennis Garcia.
Dennis is a happy spirit and whenever he drives me around Metro Manila, he would fascinate me with his stories about almost everything under the sun.
About three months ago, however, there was an evident sadness in Dennis.
It was only later when I learned that his son, Denmark, 29, a college undergrad who was working as cashier in a canteen in San Pablo City, was seriously wounded in a knife attack by a drug-crazed man.
It was an unprovoked attack. Denmark was stabbed in the back without any apparent reason and the suspect fled right after the incident.
The knife attack left Denmark paralysed and Dennis and his wife, Marilyn, 48, had to scrape through their family savings to spend for his hospitalisation.
Friends helped. I also helped in my own small way.
Two weeks ago, Denmark died.
That was when I realised that the threat of drugs and crime against children and youth of this generation is real as Duterte had warned repeatedly.
The happy and jolly Dennis Garcia, 50, changed a lot. He seemed lost at times and the jokes did not come as frequently as before.
“Sir, totoo ba yong nabalita sa dyaryo na hindi inabot ng umaga yong holdaper na pumatay ng taxi driver sa Davao?” he asked me once.
I knew what Dennis was referring to.
About four months ago, a pair of holdup men stole a Davao City taxi driver’s earnings and then they killed him.
Duterte visited the taxi driver’s family a day after the killing and publicly pronounced that the family would have justice before day break of the following day.
Before sunrise of the next day, one of the holdup men was shot and killed by policemen who pursued him like bloodhounds. The other suspect went missing and was also believed to have been killed by Duterte’s men.
“Yan lang sana ang hingin ko kay Sir Duterte kung maging Presidente sya. Sana mabigyan nya ng katarungan ang pagkamatay ng anak ko,” Dennis told me.
Dennis is no longer the happy spirit that he used to be but I noticed that he has become relentless in his effort to promote Duterte’s candidacy.
The Ford Everest owned by Concordia which he uses to drive me around the city whenever I am in Metro Manila is loaded with rubber ballers inscribed with “Duterte Atin To Pre” and he hands these out to other motorists and even motorcycle riders during the traffic jams.
He gives out the arm covers and stickers to those manning the toll gates, security guards, taxi drivers, jeepney drivers and trisikad drivers.
As I watched Dennis work hard for the candidacy of the man he believes could give his family justice, I understood why the masses and the poor Filipinos would like Duterte to be their next President.
Duterte’s legendary exploits in the campaign against drugs and criminality and his contempt for the very slow dispensation of justice inspire people like Dennis Garcia.
Up against a system which favours the rich and the powerful, crime victims like Dennis are looking at President Rody Duterte as their only hope to get justice and be protected from the criminals prowling the streets.
This is what makes Duterte different from Jejomar Binay, Manuel Roxas, Grace Poe and even Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
A leader should inspire and give hope to the masses. Duterte does. They don’t.
What can you say about this story?