Well, this last Monday was the election in the Philippines. We have a new President-elect here. He is our Mayor here in Davao, Rodrigo Duterte.
Now, with that reminder, let’s go back to January 2 of this year. I published my Predictions for 2016. I publish 10 predictions about the Philippines each year. This year, part of my predictions were fulfilled when Duterte won the Presidential election earlier this week.
Prediction #1 was that Rodrigo Duterte would be the next President of the Philippines. So, mark a big check mark on Prediction #1, I got it completely correct.
Before the votes were even counted, though, I started getting emails asking if I could now explain Prediction #10. For review sake, let me re-post my Prediction #10 that was originally published in January:
Prediction 10: Filipinos in for a major disappointment after the 2016 Elections
Yep, something that happens in the 2016 elections will lead to major, major (remember that?) disappointment among the Filipino people. This could be a case of “unintended consequences” that people realize after it has already happened!
Back at the time that I made the prediction, people were asking me to explain further, and I declined to do so. The reason why I declined was because the laws of the Philippines prevent foreigners, non-citizens, from “interfering” with Philippine elections. If I had clarified this prediction, it could have been considered to be interfering. Because of that, I left the prediction purposefully vague. Now that the election is already finished, I can no longer interfere by publishing my clarification, so here it goes.
What did I mean?
I have lived in Davao for nearly 15 years of the 17 years that I have lived in the Philippines. During that time, I have come to love the City, and it really is where I consider “home”. In fact, I have lived in Davao for longer than any other place I have lived in my entire life. During the entire time that I have lived in Davao city, Duterte has been the Mayor of the City the entire time, except for a couple of times when he stepped down to be Vice Mayor, because he could not serve as Mayor due to term limits. Over this time living here, I have come to have a pretty good understanding of the Mayor, and even though he can be full of surprises, I had some idea of things to expect if he became President of the Country.
He already started!
Today, which is Tuesday as I am writing, just half a day after the election, the President-elect has already made a pronouncement of something he is considering. He has said that he is considering banning alcoholic beverages throughout the entire country! You can read an article about it by clicking here. We do not have a ban on liquor here in Davao, but after Midnight liquor cannot be sold or consumed in public.
I believe pretty firmly that when Duterte becomes President, he will also impose a ban on things like fireworks, public smoking, speeding and other things. Motorcycle riders and passengers will be required to wear helmets or face severe fines. Speeders will be given tickets. If you use fireworks during Christmas or New Year (or any other time) you can go to jail for that. We have these policies in Davao City, and they work to enforce discipline among the population. It keeps order in the City, and these things are strictly enforced. There have even been times when public officials have been caught doing these things and had to face the penalty. As I recall, a couple years back, Duterte’s daughter, Inday Sara Duterte was caught speeding on the highway (not all that fast). She did not get off, allowed to go, or a slap on the wrist. She willingly faced the same punishment that any other driver would face.
Oh, I almost forgot Karaoke! You cannot have Karaoke or any other loud noise after 9pm, or the police will come and shut it down.
But, what about the prediction?
So in the prediction I said that Filipinos could be in for a major disappointment after the election. What I meant was that a lot of Filipinos had shown real interest in electing Duterte as President. They wanted order and discipline in society, and rightly so! They wanted an end to corruption, something that Duterte has put a major dent into in Davao. But, did the Filipinos consider that these policies would effect them personally? Maybe not!
Filipinos love Karaoke, what will they do when the police show up at their house at 9:05 and force them to shut down their karaoke party? How about when the boys have a drinking session that gets shut down at midnight? What will they think? Well, I am pretty sure they will be angry, and upset! But, it is what they voted for!
This is the unintended consequence that I was talking about. The fact that the changes that the people so desperately want in their society will have an impact on each individual life.
Don’t take me wrong.
I am in favor of the things that Duterte has done as Mayor of Davao, and the people of Davao enthusiastically support him too. Duterte got more than 90% of the vote for President here in Davao City, so you can see that the people are behind him! So, I support what he wants to do. But, I also know how much Filipinos enjoy these things, and I just wonder what it will be like when they suddenly realize that life is about to change!
Duterte’s campaign slogan was “Change is coming” and I can assure you.. the people will most certainly be seeing change. But, will they like the change when it affects their personal life? We’ll have to wait and see on that!
Now, friends… that is what I meant with prediction #10 this past January. I think I can put a check mark by that one too, as it would seem that I hit it on the head!