Did Duterte deprive Filipinos of a "rational" choice by exploiting their frustrations in 2016?


Did then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte exploit Filipinos' "collective feelings of frustrations over PNoy's admin" during the campaign lead up to the 2016 elections? Did he take "advantage of that vulnerability and deprive [Filipinos] of being rational in choosing a leader"?

Even if he did, that still makes it inexcusable that the Liberal Party (a.k.a. the Yellowtatds), despite being in power at the time, enjoying three decades of control over the national political narrative, and having staunch allies in the Philippines' biggest corporate media firms squandered all that political capital and opened the doors for the entry of a dark knight from Mindanao into Imperial Manila politics.

In that sense the Yellowtards not only failed, they failed their constituents. They need to take personal accountability for that failure before they whine about any imagined sinister and exploitative forces at work.

But as far as I recall, Duterte exploited nothing. He was, like Aquino before him, a reluctant presidential candidate. He said things that came straight out of his experience as mayor of Davao City. As such, he was merely being himself. It just so happened that who he was came to be appealing to millions of Filipinos and what he had to say grew to resonate strongly with them.

In short, Filipinos were naturally drawn to him and his unprecedented messages. There was no exploitation -- only natural charisma. Elections are not normally won that way in the Philippines. But Duterte won it his way.

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