About Me

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My View On The Upcoming Philippine 2016 Elections

Why I would NOT be voting for Durterte if I was able to vote in the forthcoming Presidential elections, this coming May 2016.

I would like to start by saying that I had been advised previously not to publish this blog, advised that it could compromise my safety. I wrote this blog personally, therefore I am responsible for its content and not my family. I am unaware of the political opinions of my family.

However, I also believe in the freedom of speech, hence the reason for deciding to go ahead and publish my thoughts, last time I checked, freedom of speech was a right both in the UK and the Philippines, so here goes...

As everybody knows, I am passionate about the Philippines and her people. I have visited the country nearly 40 times now, over most of my adult life. I am struck by the wonderful people I meet, amazing hospitality, incredible vibrancy and fantastic culture.

I also have the deepest respect for the country and people. In fact, I have many friends and indeed family from the Philippines. To me, I feel that I have the Philippines and her people somehow engrained into my heart and soul.

I have previously always took the view that I would not publicly comment on Philippine politics. Although I love the Philippines, of course I am not Filipino. So, you could argue that I would have no right to comment on politics or question any candidate in the Presidential elections. However as I am quite prominent on social media and attract a large public following, I have often been asked who would I vote for as President if I was able to.

In fact, over the last few weeks, I have been sharing several online news reports I have seen on Facebook on reports I have seen on Presidential candidate, Davao Mayor Duterte.

Firstly, I would like to start by acknowledging that Mayor Duterte has been credited for making Davao City one of the apparently safest cities in the world in which to live. I also acknowledge that clearly Davao is a very well equipped city, like having a well resourced emergency service, an abundance of well run community projects including services for drug users and those suffering from domestic violence. For this, of course, I do credit the honourable Mayor and agree with his supporters that as Mayor, Duterte seems to have worked miracles in Davao and achieved great work.

However, the concern I have and why I feel forced to speak up and not hold back is that I simply don't agree with the alleged vigilante activities which apparently took place in Davao. I don't believe that people should take the law into their own hands. That's why the Philippines has a justice system and proper laws approved by government. Admittedly, the Philippine Justice system is very slow and cumbersome.

According to recent TV programs shown here in the UK, some prisoners on remand can wait many many years for their actual trials to take place.

Some, I am sure may have even been wrongly locked up or accused of crimes they did not commit. However, what makes these prisoners far safer than those who maybe face the vigilante groups is that they eventually have their day in court, the chance to prove their case or of course if found guilty, to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment according to the crime they had committed.

I do find it a little hypocritical that on the one hand, we quite rightly campaign against the Death Penalty of OFW's who maybe have been accused of drug smuggling, however much evidence is found against them, yet on the other hand, I read hundreds of comments on Facebook praising the summary execution of suspected drug dealers, even petty criminals on the street of Davao.

Maybe I am just a bit old fashioned, but I believe that everyone has the right to a fair trial, even Duterte admitted himself that in Davao, he may have been involved in the death of 300 criminals, yet if he was elected as President, this number could be much higher.

What worries me is that if Duterte is elected as President, already Human Rights groups are apparently looking into his background, how could he ever visit the UK, USA, or other countries, meet with other Presidents, Royals etc and take his place on the world stage with this reputation. Not only that, as Mayor, I am sure he could ride out with the police, go undercover etc, but would he have time as President to do this?

His claim to rid the Philippines of drugs in 6 months, will that really be the case, what happens if two years into his term, there are still people taking drugs in the Philippines, does this mean broken promises? Does this mean he had failed as President?

I do hope my blog has not offended anyone, least not his supporters, I just felt the need to go public on my thoughts. Thank you.

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