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Change the Chains

John Rey Villareal | Veterus Deus Sedum

The Philippines had its fair share of presidents who come and go. Each one either making things worse or better. Whether you see the previous administration as a failure or not, it depends on how you look at it. As Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th President of the Philippines, took his seat in Malacañang, the world saw a hero just as they saw Aquino when he took his oath last 2010. Will Duterte’s term end up the same way like Aquino’s?

The tough talking president is strong in his fight against corruption, but his methods for change isn’t exactly the easiest pill to swallow. He plans to ensue what most see as a bloodbath with the drug lords in the country and stop criminality in six months. But, this does not really sit well to human rights activists. His methods are unorthodox or, to put it simply, crooked. Violence has never been the answer, but the desperation of people led to this.

We see our country as a land bathed in blood from the time the Spaniards came to this land.  Until now, we are still up against enemies, but this time against our own. However, it is not due to the same old crab mentality and cultural differences excuses. It is because we want things done in one go and then relax the whole way afterwards— that is not change, but rather a temporary replacement that is bound to revert back to old habits. Change is just doing things different at once; it is a slow turn of events that constantly take one step at a time. We cannot expect one man to do it all at once, and everyone will be happy.

The thought of only doing things fast has always led Filipinos into desperation. Everyone should start taking one small step at a time to change. It is not about how fast you can make things better. It is about how well you can do things at your own pace, and do it for the rest of your life.

As the President sets his trek onwards to the six-month war against criminality, let us not expect all our problems to vanish. He is but a man with a fleet that is ready for war in which he intends to end quickly and one that is hard to clean up afterwards. We, as Filipinos, should take our steps towards our own ways in changing the country for the better. Whether it is one step at a time or a mile a minute, it is up to us to decide whether change or chains is coming.

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