Asia-Pacific, Philippines, Politics

Philippines: The Future of Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte, the most controversial Filipino President to date, is also the oldest to have been elected to the Executive Position.

It only had been five months into his reign but he garnered the ire of many protesters amidst his pool of supporters due to the manner he carries out his war against crimes. There also have been rumors that opponents are already planning to oust him but Rodrigo Duterte shrugs the issue off.

However, in the strong facade of his “iron fist” administration is an ailing man who, as Rodrigo Duterte himself confessed, experiences daily migraines and a slipped disc.

Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Duterte is 71 years old. He mentioned that at his age, he realized that the presidency is the least he needed but he knows that he still has five years or so to mettle to finish his regime. In one of his speeches last year, Duterte said that he is indeed ill but not with cancer as opposed to the news circulating online.

He is actually suffering from daily migraines so bad that at one time he slipped and hit the cement. He also has spinal issues as well as Buerger’s Disease and Barrett’s Esophagus. Nonetheless, the Presidential spokesperson assured everyone that the President is in good health condition.

But as far as politics is really concerned, the Filipino people are worried that Rodrigo Duterte would be struggling in the next years. Aside from the physical challenges he has, is the admission he made to the Philippine media that he indeed killed some criminals when he was still a Mayor in Davao.

Why could this be a threat to his administration?

According to the President, he would roam the streets of Davao to look for confrontations and that he killed criminals personally. This is in order to set an example to the police force with the statement “if I can, you also can”.

As usual, after such controversial propositions like this, a representative of the President denied that Rodrigo Duterte admitted to personally killing the criminals. Official statement from the Palace is that what Duterte actually meant was if ever he was in trouble, it was his right to defend himself.

The Future of Rodrigo Duterte

Now, with age and alleged admissions dawning on him, the Palace still claims that Rodrigo Duterte will finish his six years term. But what could possibly happen to him?

On Health

Buerger’s Disease and Barrett’s Esophagus are both long-term effects of smoking and alcohol.

What happens when a person has Buerger’s Disease is that the veins and the arteries swell that it becomes difficult to supply blood to the extremities. If not controlled, this could possibly result in gangrene or the death of certain body parts.

Barrett’s Disease, on the other hand, is a case wherein the cells in the esophagus turn into those like in the intestines. This is due to frequent acid reflux from the stomach brought by years of
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). What is also threatening is this illness can develop into cancer.

When it comes to his spinal issue, he is afraid to undergo an operation as his wife, being a nurse, witnessed unsuccessful spinal operations.

Hands-on Crime

How about the purported Rodrigo Duterte killings?

There are videos to support the allegations that he owned to personally killing criminals. He even likened himself to Hitler saying that if there were 3 million Jews massacred and there were 3 million drug addicts, he would be happy to slaughter them all. Of course, he, just like with his other utterances, regretted this statement.

Human advocates have been protesting that human rights must not be bridled as this only aggravates the rate of atrocity in the country. This also produces angry and fearful citizens. Regardless, he is firm on his stand that he does not care about human rights. If this is so, how would this affect his presidency?

Due to his vigilante-style in deterring illegalities, he has already caught the attention of international law regulating institutions. The institutions with the right to call on said issue.

Why? Because the Philippines has been a member of these international unions and part of the agreement is that member countries would need to uphold the visions to promote, create, and sustain quality life for all.

If ever his professed personal killing of lawbreakers were true and if ever the asserted human rights violation worsen, he could be prosecuted at the International Criminal Court. For what charges? For crimes against humanity.

About Patricia Abrihan

Patricia has always been inspired by the witty yet innocent voice of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird that she believes that writing is able to revolutionize ideas of society. She is a former college instructor from the Philippines and is currently a freelance writer and blogger managing her portfolio. She is open to collaboration and also loves reading and watching movies.

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