Filipinos reject dictator, believe in strong leader: Cayetano

MANILAForeign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday said while Filipinos do not agree with having a dictator to lead them, the country values a strong leader who gets things done.

The West will always interpret strongman in a different way because iba yung culture nila, so while we don't agree, Filipinos, of having a dictator, while we don't believe in having a tyrant, we do believe in having a strong leader," Cayetano said, reacting to the release of a Time Magazine article that depicts President Rodrigo R. Duterte as one of this era's strongmen.

"Some will say any publicity is good publicity, the president doesn't really care, he just wants to get the job done."

Cayetano admitted he has yet read the article, but if the content gives the impression that the Philippines does not have a fully functional democracy, "then they're wrong."

The May 2018 issue of Time Magazine features President Duterte, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on its cover photo and story titled, "The 'Strongmen Era' Is Here. Here's What It Means for You."

Time Magazine writer Ian Bremmer wrote these leaders "have won followers by targeting 'them,' including the familiar US and European sources of power and influence."

In the Philippines, Bremmer said a rising tide of violent street crime helped elect Rodrigo Duterte, a former mayor who talked more like a Mob boss than a President, on his promises to wipe out the drug trade with his own brand of justice.

On Friday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reacted to the story, saying the chief executive, regardless of the slant, has demonstrated strong and decisive leadership.

He added this rule is "appreciated" by most Filipinos as evidenced by the the president's high satisfaction, approval, trust and performance ratings.

Almost two years after his election, the 73-year-old Filipino leader still enjoys a very good net trust rating of +65 based in last April's survey by the Social Weather Stations. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency