When Rodrigo Duterte was elected the President of the Philippines I wrote about how he was going to be far from business as usual for a leader in Asia and have been happy to see that position vindicated.
The same no-nonsense worldview that drove Mr. Duterte as mayor of Davao City to clean up the streets, improve social services, and crack down on corruption has been brought to the entire nation. Since taking office, President Duterte has had tens of thousands of drug dealers, pimps, thieves, and other criminals turn themselves in to the police in order to avoid either being shot by the police or by the vigilantes that are active with the blessing of the President.
President Duterte has shown us in a matter of months that if the United States really wanted to end corruption and the drug trade, it could be done and done quickly. As one news report wrote:
“Dozens of Philippine government and police officials turned themselves in on Monday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte linked them to the drugs trade, stepping up a war on narcotics that has killed hundreds since he took office in June.
More than 400 suspected drug dealers have been killed by police across the Philippines since Duterte took over, officials say. Broadcaster ABS-CNN put the number at over 800, though this includes executions by anonymous vigilantes.
On Monday, 27 mayors and 31 police officers, including a colonel, went to the national police office in the capital, Manila, to clear their names, fearing the president’s order to hunt them down if they failed to surrender within 24 hours.”
By pushing the police to investigate any and all allegations or corruption, no matter how high-ranking or connected the government the individual is, President Duterte is cleaning up politics like very few leaders in the current day and age.
The West and the United Nations have condemned the actions of President Duterte on cracking down on drug dealing, petty crime, human trafficking, and corruption as being “violations of human rights” and condemned him for the “apparent endorsement of extrajudicial killings, which is illegal and a breach of fundamental rights and freedoms“.
In response to that, the President suggested that the Philippines could perhaps leave the United Nations and begin building a new geopolitical alliance with allies in Asia and Africa, against the Atlanticist-dominated U.N.
In a press conference, when asked about the United Nations comments and attacks on him, President Duterte remarked “I don’t give a shit… You know, United Nations, if you can say one bad thing about me, I can give you 10 [about you].”
This is a huge break for the vast majority of world leaders. To actually begin cleaning up your country of corruption, of crime, or drugs and resisting control by international tribunals is not something the international elites will willingly accept. The last century’s elites will not willingly accept the sweeping changes which are taking hold throughout the world. Those who once insisted that “democracy” was so central to their world vision are receiving a tidal wave of democratic revolt and against their corrupt and decrepit order.
Of course, it’s demagoguery when the voice of the people is actually heard. It’s supposedly “mob rule” when a strong man is elected and empowered with a clear mandate to enact the popular will. Sometimes the only response to corruption and degeneracy is strength. His methods would perhaps be too extreme in our own current context, but if things ever get as bad here as they were in the Philippines before Duterte showed up, we should hope for a man with his singular focus on guaranteeing that the public square and public life are reclaimed for decent families and honest men.