Duterte as can­di­date; Duterte as pres­i­dent T

Sun.Star Pampanga - - OPINOIOPNINION -

HE politi­cian who ran for pub lic of­fice and the pub­lic of­fi­cial who got elected are no longer the same per­son? Can­di­date Ro­drigo Duterte was not the same Ro­drigo Duterte who is now pres­i­dent?

That seems to be one ar­gu­ment de­fend­ing the pres­i­dent's de­ci­sion to re­ject a P2,000 in­crease for each So­cial Se­cu­rity Sys­tem (SSS) pen­sion: the can­di­date who promised that dur­ing the cam­paign is no longer the per­son who now runs the coun­try.

Of course, they're the same per­son. Maybe what is meant is that the pub­lic of­fi­cial has changed mind­set and out­look: the same per­son with a dif­fer­ent view of things.

Crit­ics like Bayan sec­re­tary gen­eral Re­nato Reyes may sus­pect that the "dif­fer­ent per­son" the­ory is be­ing used to get the pres­i­dent off the hook of prom­ises he made dur­ing the elec­tion sea­son.

To ex­pect politi­cian to keep each prom­ise he made is to be naive. Ask cyn­ics who have heard them made and seen them bro­ken, pres­i­dent after pres­i­dent.

What to watch are the ba­sic pre­cepts the can­di­date said he be­lieved in. Are they still be­ing sub­stan­tially fol­lowed by him?

Some of Duterte's prom­ises were ex­ag­ger­ated. For one, the vow to rid the coun­try of crime in three to six months was a stretch. Did vot­ers re­ally ex­pect him to do that? As things have turned out, the dead­line has been moved to one year and may be ex­tended anew. Ch an ges A lot of room must be made for changes in con­di­tions, aside from shifts in be­liefs: facts not avail­able to can­di­date Duterte are now supplied to Pres­i­dent Duterte; ad­vis­ers dur­ing the cam­paign are re­placed by ad­vis­ers in pub­lic of­fice. The pri­mary pur­pose then was to win; now it is to do well as pres­i­dent.

Re­jec­tion of the SSS pen­sion hike can be ex­plained, as then pres­i­dent Noynoy Aquino did, with­out sal­ly­ing into in the wishy-washy think­ing about split p er so n al i t i es.

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