Pres. with a Mouth

FEU Advocate
June 12, 2016 12:00

By Diamond Y. Melendres
Managing Editor (2016-2017)

Whether it be cursing, catcalling, threatening to sever ties with other nations, making rape jokes in public, being called “The Donald Trump of the East” or badmouthing the Pope, media practitioners and criminals, it just goes to show that Rodrigo Duterte is indeed a man of many words.

If I were to compare Duterte to any fictional character it would have to be Marvel’s ‘Merc with a Mouth’ antihero, Deadpool. Why? It’s because they’re practically two of a kind. Both of them love to say what they want and when they want. They get things done through action and love making jokes that tend to be inappropriate.

But there’s one thing that separates the two. Deadpool is a work of fiction and Duterte is going to be the 16th President of the Philippines.

The past few weeks have had people in social media talking about Duterte and his infamous mouth. What’s new, right? If you see a post or headline with Duterte’s name on it, you’re probably going to ask yourself “What did he say this time?” It’s always “say” and never “do”.

Despite his popularity amongst the masses, I never regarded myself as a Duterte supporter or “Dutertard”. In fact I don’t consider myself to be any type of “–tard”.

You see, I didn’t hate Duterte nor did I support him. The reason for this was because of one thing – his mouth. The guy has a mouth on him, that’s a fact. I’m not the type of person that should be telling Duterte to watch his language because I believe in the freedom of speech. But I also believe that people should be responsible with it.

So when it was announced that he won the presidential elections, I wasn’t surprised because of the large number of “Dutertards”. In fact I was somewhat looking forward to this so-called “change” that all of these “Dutertards” and others were rambling about during the election period.

I even thought to myself, “Sure, the guy has quite the mouth. But as long as he gets things done and this “change” is good, I’m fine with it. Maybe he might even present himself in a professional manner when addressing the nation in front of cameras now.” I also hoped that he would be responsible with his freedom of speech and actually put a leash on his tongue.

Turns out I was wrong. It seems that reality hadn’t kicked Duterte’s thick skull hard enough. When he made those statements about how he viewed the journalist killings in our country, a part of me already started losing faith in our future leader. Does he really think that the 176 killed journalists in the country were all “corrupt”?

I was outraged just like every journalist and aspiring journalist in the country. Our country is already the second most dangerous place for journalists and he made it even worse by making it okay to kill journalists as long as they were “corrupt”. He practically made every journalist in the country an easy target for the real “corrupt” individuals he wants to get rid of.

It didn’t stop there. He decided to disrespect women and flaunt his ego by catcalling female journalist, Mariz Umali, in public and the fact that he had made a rape joke in public before doesn’t help a bit. I guess a lot of women aren’t looking forward to his term now as well.

I found the statements he made when daring media groups to boycott him to be childish. It was as though Duterte was a child and he didn’t want to play anymore with his friends because they kept on telling his mother about all the bad things that came out of his mouth.

Is this loose-tongued man-child actually going to become our president? If he expects us to ignore his words and go by the old saying “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me”. Then he has another thing coming.

Duterte has to realize that he needs to stop being known as that “badass trash-talking Mayor of Davao” anymore. To be honest I don’t want a “badass” president, in fact I don’t want my president to be any type of “ass”.

He has to realize that what he says actually can make a difference now – whether it is good or bad. He could even put the whole nation into shame if he were to say something reckless regarding international issues. We’d be the laughingstock of the world and be called idiots by other nations for allowing such a man to be elected as our president.

If broadcasters and other TV personalities can present themselves in a professional manner without having to resort to foul language, then why can’t he? Does he think he automatically gets a pass because he’s a big shot politician?

Shouldn’t he be trying his hardest to be a president that the people would be proud of when he represents our country during international political conferences and meetings?

They say “change” is coming but the only thing I think that needs to be changed first is Rodrigo Duterte’s mouth. But who knows, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe he might shape up into the leader that the Filipino people will respect and not fear; if he doesn’t, I wouldn’t want to imagine where his words will lead our country in the next six years.

Feel like mouthing off about our country’s very own version of Marvel's ‘Merc with a mouth’? You can leave a comment or mouth off all you want at