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Rodrigo Duterte Is the Next President of the Philippines

President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. Photo: Lyn Rillon

ith over ninety percent of the votes already tallied by the COMELEC's Transparency Server, candidate Rodrigo Duterte enjoys a insurmountable lead of more than 6 million votes over second-placer Mar Roxas. Duterte wins by a landslide and will be the 16th president of the Philippines.

So here's the first thing we ask that Duterte do: disband the Davao Death Squad! Sever all ties to it, and make it crystal clear to all its members that their trigger-happy days are over. This should be Duterte's first order of business the minute he becomes president.

Duterte must understand that while he was able to play fast and loose with the law, as mayor of a far-flung city like Davao, as president he must have everyone around him and under him, tightly reigned-in or it could spell disaster.

As we pointed out in a previous editorial, all Duterte has to do is look back at what happened to Ferdinand Marcos in 1983. Marcos may have had nothing to do with having Ninoy Aquino killed. It was most likely his underlings, his cronies and bootlickers in the military—Marcos' own "death squad"—who must have decided on their own that they were all better off if Aquino was killed. And after they carried out the dastardly deed, it was poor Marcos who found himself booted out of Malacañang as a direct result of Aquino's death.

We say this because as the country's next president, we honestly want Duterte to succeed. But if those "death squads" run amok and dead bodies begin piling on the streets on a regular basis, it will likely turn the population against the future president and eventually derail the great plans of his administration.

So Mr. President-elect Duterte, congratulations! You have been given a strong mandate by the Filipino people. Like all your supporters, we want to see reforms and changes implemented as soon as possible. This country has already had too many corrupt and incompetent leaders, and we are all pinning our hopes on you. So please make sure that all those who act on your behalf do so with honesty, sincerity, and most importantly, always stay within the Constitution and laws of this great nation. Published 5/10/2016

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