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The Westernian Advocate

Emmanuel Maala

An open letter to the President of the Republic of the Philippines

Dear Honorable President Rodrigo Duterte,

First of all, if ever you will read this, please do not fire your guns to me for the reason

that I hated you so much due to your unrefined character and personality—to which I

think made you unfit to run the highest position in the Philippines.


Probably, the Filipinos are already too desperate to have a radical change in this

corrupted country since, we are already trapped in a box of dilemmas—hoping that

someone (and they saw it on you) will break the chains of our oppressed citizens due to

drugs, corruptions and other heinous crimes.

But true to say, with all the blemishes that you showed off to the Filipinos, including

the issue of the rape, catcalling, numerous cussing that you are not afraid to utter even

on cameras, and many others, I did not know why Filipinos were still blinded with that

belief that you were capable of changing the Philippines—if this change, I think, will just

murder the exemplary image of a leader.

Yes, I admitted. My vote was not really for you. But, I had my multiple second

thoughts so I always asked those who supported you. And this always boiled down to

one answer, “Kailangan na natin ng pagbabago”. But every time I had my follow-up

questions, it always ended me up not convinced—because most of them cannot defend

how are you going to rule this country with the right implementation of the law and not

with the few men only. I also did not understand why other presidential candidates are

less preferred despite their merits and capabilities of holding the government.
But despite all of these, there you have it. You had already sworn into office as the

16th President of the Philippines. And upon hearing your inaugural address, there was

this light in me, and with the Filipinos for sure, that you are bringing a new hope,

carrying the passport with the optimism to have a better nation.

“No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or

significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to

lead and sworn to serve.”

This hit me right through the core. I realized that we should be united in any form to

achieve the real change. And I remember that saying of the elders that when a broom

starts to unravel its sticks, it will eventually fall into pieces and will not function well. Just

like the Filipinos, if we will still be disunited in any form, nothing will happen.

And in fairness to you honorable president, even though you are just on your first

week on the seat, never did you disappoint those who voted you because you are really

serious of eliminating drugs, executing laws and orders, and many others.

Good thing is that many of the drug pushers are already surrendering since they are

afraid of the consequences that you might hand down together with PNP Director

General Ronald dela Rosa—depicting a rising land from the sludge of yesterday.

A new administration is also coming as you appointed Honorable Vice President Leni

Robredo as the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council

(HUDCC)—showing that there are no more division between the two of the highest

government officials in our country.

Passing your first Executive Order (EO) entitled “Reengineering the Office of the

President towards Greater Responsiveness to the Attainment of Development Goals”

will hopefully reduce poverty in the Philippines under Secretary Jun Evasco Jr. and will

promote economic growth and development.

Another, promoting transparency in the government as you pass the Freedom of

Information Law (FoI) as an executive order is something historical—as this will restore

the correlation between media and the government.

I hope that you continue your goal of sweeping the Philippines. I also hope that you

will never give up in leading the revolution in the Philippines despite our hard headed

countrymen, because FILIPINOS REALLY NEED YOU.

As early as now, I salute you, President Duterte!

The Westernian Advocate
Emmanuel Maala

An open letter to the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines

Dear Honorable Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo,

Who would have thought that from a humble congresswoman of the city of Naga and

the one who has the slimmest experience among the Vice Presidential candidates in the

2016 election, a simple housewife of the late DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo, a mother

to three children, a woman, claimed the victory as the 14th Vice President of the

Republic of the Philippines?

You proved it, Vice President Leni Robredo. Despite your low rankings and

percentages in the early release of the survey for the Vice Presidential candidates, the

only candidate who was not a senator and the only woman, your hardwork and your

motherly personality proved to us that women should never be underestimated.

And although you had a small margin with your closest challenger Senator

Bongbong Marcos and all the issues and accusations that they threw at you, never were

you disheartened even if you were just a second choice of the Liberal Party—you swiftly

swept all of those adversities attesting that the last man standing is a woman.

Frankly, before, you were not part of my choices in the Vice Presidentiables thinking

“Who are you?” to run the VP race if your name just came up after Sec. Jesse died in a

plane crash. But being a graduate of the School of Economics in University of the

Philippines-Diliman in 1986, a lawyer for 20 years, and a social activist, maybe it was

not appalling for you to assume the VP seat since you met the qualifications of the

Commission on Elections (COMELEC).

Also, after watching your story in a drama anthology of ABS-CBN, seeing the people

of Naga pleading you to run as a representative of the third district of Camarines Sur, I
somewhat realized that maybe the Robredos are really an exemplar in public service,

good governance and modesty. In fact, seeing your humbleness when you are just

riding a train and a public utility bus from Manila to CamSur after Congress is an

epitome of a good servant.

And Nagueṅos were never disappointed since you became the vice chairman of the

House Committees on Good Governance, Public Accountability, and revision of laws,

and member of 11 other house panels. Your priority as a congresswoman also focused

on economics and poverty reduction paving way for Full Disclosure Policy Bill (House

Bill 19) and People Empowerment Bill (HB 4911), sponsoring the Open Door Policy Act

(HB 6286), having your own version of the Freedom of Information Bill (HB 3237) and

many others that did not benefitted only the citizens of Naga but as well as to the whle


Probably, you won the hearts of the Filipinos because you shared your stories—

humbling yourself, down to earth, and telling how you became a mother and at the

same time a father to your children.

Although at first, you were not appointed by Digong to any position, but upon

assigning you as the chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating

Council (HUDCC), I just hope that you will do your full responsibility with your

department and with the Filipinos.

Since you are also keen in empowering the poor and civil society groups, opening

spaces of the government for citizens’ participation like the farmers, pushing zero

hunger and ‘no to contractualization’ policy, I am looking forward that you can do all of

these things in your six years term as VP.

Lest you cannot do all of these things in your term, probably, you will somewhat fail

the Filipinos.

But of course, I know that you will pour down all of your strengths and abilities to

show to the Filipinos that you are worth voting and electing for, still, please do not tire

yourself too much and I hope that you make your schedule having quality bonding and

time with your children.

Yes, the Filipinos need you but your children also need a motherly care and love.

Kudos, Vice President Leni Robredo!