Dear President Digong

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Sorry Vietnam friends, I just had to get this off my chest.

I’ve been living in Vietnam for the past 7 years but my heart still belongs to my motherland.

On May 9 of this year, my country held the presidential elections and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was hailed president with Congresswoman Leni Robredo as the new vice president. I have to admit that I am not pro-Duterte but I am pro-Philippines. And whoever won in the elections, I will support.

People have this thinking that supporting someone means shutting up and just letting elected officials do what they want free from criticisms. As far as I’m concerned these elected officials serve the country. We are their bosses. We should be free to comment and give opinions. The people has a stake on this. Ours is a democratic country after all.

Inspired by the #DearPresidentDigong in Twitter, here is my wishlist to the president-elect Rody Duterte:

  • Please don’t snub ceremonies, may they be little or feel corny to you. These ceremonies immortalizes significant events our country holds dear. These are milestones that yes would seem like just a photo opportunity, but serves as bookmarks in our country’s history.
  • The barong is a symbol of our being Filipinos. If you don’t want to wear one, it’s perfectly Okay. You don’t have to say anything bad against wearing one.
  • The Catholic Church may have hurt you with their accusations. But you said, you don’t care about this institution. So why put your energy in putting them down too? At the end of the day, the Catholic Church cannot touch you because you ARE president and you have the power to take action, while the church can only remind it’s faithful.
  • Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Think before you open your mouth. I feel sometimes you are pushed to say things that you don’t really mean. Take one or two seconds to collect your thoughts before saying anything “official”.
  • Refrain from dishing out expletives. You sound like a bully. I’m teaching my kids to look up to world leaders and looks like I can’t have you as an example if you keep cursing. Don’t make excuses that you were born into a poor community why you are such. That is so untrue. My father was poor but I never heard him, not once, utter a belittling remark on a fellow human being.
  • Work in Malacanang or Davao. Choose. Or why not stay in Malacanang during the week and go home to Davao during the weekends? I just fear for your health. Riding the plane everyday to work is no good for a 71 year old. Not to mention the millions of pesos that would be spent for the commute that could be used for worthwhile projects.
  • Beyond your sphere of influence and friends, reach out to other parties and see if there are other candidates that you can put in your cabinet. Not because they opposed you in the elections, doesn’t mean they are not capable.
  • Leni Robredo is not your enemy. She is there to help you achieve the goals you have planned for the country. Use her.

What separates us from animals is that we have full control of our mental faculties and we CAN if we want to refrain from doing and saying things that may be misconstrued. Majority of the Filipinos don’t understand how you speak. Please think about them when you open your mouth. We so desperately want to understand you and want you to succeed.

You are the face of our country, please act like a President. It’s time to replace the Mayor’s hat with a President’s hat. You have a country to run, not a province.

I honestly truly support you. Hope you can make some compromises.


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