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UPDATE: Since the brutal killing of a 17-year old student (Kian delos Santos) who pleaded for his life so he could catch his exam, together with the senseless genocide of 20,000 Filipinos in Duterte's misguided crusade against drugs, I have since renounced and withdrew my support from him.

Davao City's Peace and Order Jan 21, 2013

Davao City's Peace and Order

Modern-Day Robin Hood
Now that I've spent a month in Davao, hearing stories from here and there, I begin to see a broader picture of the city - more specifically, about the legacy of its controversial former mayor, Rodrigo Duterte. A few years ago, people would hesitate to say something unfavorable about him - I sensed fear in them. Now, there is a big difference. After benefitting from the sustained peace and order, discipline and stability of the city, I now feel a genuine love the people have for him. I've heard people refer to him as a people's man - the way he spent the holidays with the people from Smokey Mountain, the way he talks one-on-one to his constituents on his regular Sunday show, the time he disguised himself as a cabbie, just to get the feel of things from street level. People relate to him as their Robin Hood. In him, they find a strong man they can entrust their safety and well being. Someone who can deliver swift justice...almost on-demand.

Rule of Law
To be honest, I was initially conflicted about this - the rule of law wasn't there. But no one can argue against the ensuing peace and order. I myself would walk the streets of Davao, even pass through a dark alley with a group of drunk guys, and there is no fear. I know the streets are safe. Of course, there is still crime (what big city is without it anyway?), but on a per capita basis, the crime rate is very low compared to other cities of its size and population base. Moreover, and I cannot stress this any stronger, is that the people have faith and confidence in the system. If they have an emergency, they don't hesitate to dial 911 or call the police. Response is quick and efficient.

Sweeping it Under the Rug
In Manila, people victimized by crime would rarely go to the police. The police is not someone you can trust there (exceptions, of course) - they are viewed just as bad as the bad guys. From my immediate circle of friends, I hear crime stories of rape, attempted rape, muggings, break-ins, etc. You don't read this in the news, but they happen. As one executive from GMA News and Public Affairs once intimated to me, the rampant crime in taxis are so alarming they don't broadcast it anymore. Friends of friends have died over a cell phone, been comatosed and died over a laptop mugging...and no one goes to jail. Sure, there is the veiled rule-of-law, but where is justice? The victims sweep the crime from underneath the rug and pretend it never happened - but the feeling of being violated remains...and perhaps ferments. I'm only talking about my immediate social circle. But my social circle is no different from anybody else's. Across the board, the stats are indeed alarming. While the victims remain silent, I'll say my piece.

Lee Kwan Yew Parellelism
Back in the day, I've always maintained that the Philippines needs a Lee Kwan Yew...a benevolent strong man who will flex his muscle to uphold the safety and well-being of his nation. I've even cited the parallelism between Lee and Marcos - both regarded as strong men of Asia, both with a political will, both a genius in his own right. But one plundered the national treasury while the other became a social benefactor to a nation. Fast-forward to the here-and-now, and anyone can see the leaps and bounds Singapore has achieved in the global arena while we export our bright and educated to be domestic helpers or nannies in some far-off land away from their families. I digress. But my point is that strong leadership whose heart is in the right place, matters.

Ending Thoughts
This is a controversial piece. I'll get flak for this. Am I advocating vigilantism? No. I simply want justice served - justice under the rule of law, or street justice if need be. The law's failure to provide justice does more harm to society than the crime itself. Let the safe streets of Davao serve as metaphor for justice served. The policy is far from perfect. Admittedly, there have been colateral damage. I offer my apologies to those whose sensitivities I've infringed on.

--- TheLoneRider

ps - If you want me to objectively cover the features of your city or municipality or barangay for this website (fiesta, waterfall, mountain trail, lake, river, cave, food, islands, beach, etc.), email me.

Rodrigo Duterte Blogs on TheLoneRider

Google Map Davao City, Philippines

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Great Things Going for Davao City

  • one of the cleanest potable water in the country
  • smoking is banned from commercial establishments
  • pineapple samurais are endemic here and nowhere else in the country (pineapple vendors who cut-up whole pineapples into chunks with just a few strokes of their carving knives)
  • public utility drivers conspicuously display their IDs
  • durian Mecca of the Philippines (not to mention Marang, Mangosteen and Sweet Pomelo)
  • you want to add some more? please submit on the form below

Not So Great Things Going Against Davao City

  • the weighing scale of fruit vendors specially the durian push cart vendors are a blatant cheat - showing almost twice the actual weight

Davao Related Articles

Davao City Travel Information
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