Aug 23, 2017

I regret voting for Duterte. There, I said it.

But before you bombard this post with comments like “bayarang dilawan” and the like, maybe you can try to listen to what I have to say first.

During the 2016 elections, I spent about an hour staring at my ballot thinking of who to vote for and what would happen to the Philippines if that person became president. Like many Duterte supporters, I too was desperate for change. Perhaps too desperate, because I let myself believe that if this man wins and sits in Malacañang, the country will become a (slightly) better place to live in. I was already coming from a place of hopelessness and the fact that some of my relatives also supported Duterte, maybe it wouldn’t hurt to agree with them.

I turned a blind eye on his misogynistic comments, rape jokes, and incessant cussing because I thought, “Hey, Davao got used to his dirty mouth, so maybe we’ll get used to it, too.” Those things didn’t matter if it meant he can fix the Philippines in return. I also turned a blind eye on some of my friends who greatly opposed Duterte, both those who presented valid reasons and those who were simply angry with him. But I realized that was me being ignorant and selfish.

Dubbed as “The Pieta,” which is one of the most powerful photos taken during the start of Duterte’s war on drugs.

Then came the bloody headlines. Thousands of people already lost their lives in Duterte’s war on drugs. And just last week, 37 people or so were shot dead during a “one-time, big-time” drug raid in Caloocan, including children. For me, that was the last straw.

I didn’t know what I was in for when he said he’d eliminate the country’s drug problem in six months. Six months. If Pablo Escobar was still alive today, he’d probably be laughing his ass off.

I couldn’t sleep for two nights because of two things: the first out of regret. I regret voting for a president who said he values human life yet condones extrajudicial killings. I also regret voting for a president who doesn’t know when to shut up. You can cuss all you want, but rape jokes are unacceptable, as well as any misogynistic remark for that matter. The second thing was fear. Fear not for myself, but for others. I fear for those who are powerless in the face of justice because frankly, what can they do? Pointing fingers is a dangerous game only a few have mastered, and these are the people we should watch out for.

Would I vote for a different president if I were given the power of time travel? Yes. But what’s done is done, and I couldn’t stay silent anymore. We must never get used to the bloodbath this barbaric campaign is causing because peace is not (and will never be) at the end of it.

How about you? Are you up for a constructive discourse?


Read more:

6 points from Duterte’s SONA we agree with
Guess how Duterte abolished drugs in six months
President Duterte abolishes Negros Island Region due to lack of funding


Photos courtesy of Raffy Lerma from

TAGS: Duterte extrajudicial killings nolisoliph rodrigo duterte War on Drugs