by Manny Piñol
The proclamation today of the winning Presidential candidate could just be considered as an official affirmation of the victory of Davao City’s Rody Duterte which was known as early as the evening of the election day on May 9.
But for a nation divided by political colors for the last 30 years, Duterte’s ascendancy to the Presidency represents a new hope for national unity.
It also marks many firsts in the country’s political history.
– Duterte is the first President from Mindanao;
– He is the first President to carry Christian, Moro and Tribal blood. His grandmother was a full-blooded Maranao and his mother, the late Nanay Soling, also traced his roots to the indigenous tribe of Agusan, while his father, the late Gov. Vicente Duterte, was a Christian from Cebu.
– He is the first President to win an election without buying votes or spending outrageously huge amounts;
– He is the first candidate for President whose campaign paraphernalia, including t-shirts, caps and commemorative car plates were sold, instead of being given away for free;
– He is the first substitute candidate to win the Presidency and the first to deliberately miss the formal proclamation ceremonies today.
Beyond the firsts, however, Duterte will be remembered in the country’s political history as the only candidate who won the Presidency with a promise to eliminate drug dealers, criminal syndicates and corruption.
He will also standout as the only Presidential candidate who has promised to reach out to all the sectors of society, including the Moro rebels and the Communists, and invite him to join his government.
In a country where the mere connection with Moro rebels and Communist cadres were considered a political suicide, Duterte repeatedly shouted “Allahu Akbar” and admitted that he belonged to the Left during the campaign.
With only 30 days to go before he officially assumes as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines, expectations by the people are soaring.
The high expectations from the people could be a tougher challenge for the new President.
The first six months could be rough and tough as President Duterte starts to work to implement the Change that he has promised the Filipino nation.
With the huge popular support, however, he is expected to prevail and finally bring this fractured nation together again.
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