From two years of experience, i.e., actually living in this country, suffering in real time the daily bombardment of anti-people rhetoric, the large-scale violence that is happening on our streets and in the countryside, the heavy burden of inflation and price hikes, the general exhaustion of having to deal with an incompetent unkind leadership, one already has a sense of how Rodrigo Duterte and his people operate. It is in fact a by-the-textbook populist strategy, one that they’ve been using since the campaign, one that they have continued to use with much success — he’s still President after all — the past two years. We’ve thought this government out-of-control, we’ve thought the communications team stupid and idiotic, we’ve called the President bastos and misogynist — but all of that is part of the plan, it is all chaos-by-design.
The announcement that the President will be speaking to the nation today, September 11, is no different. And because we’ve been here all this time, and we’ve heard Duterte doing his slurred, confused speeches too many times the past two years, we can already imagine what it is he’s going to say. Because unsurprisingly, he is redundant, and repetitive, and goes around in circles like a crazy person. And the only way we can continue to be productive and not get caught up in the shock of hearing him saying something offensive (because he will) and oppressive (because he will), is to already prepare ourselves for the worst. And with Duterte, everything IS already at its worst. (more…)