Duterte's Brilliant Marawi Crisis Leadership and What All of Us Should Do Now

          "The Marawi Crisis has shown the President's brilliant leadership.   He acted like a president.  He listened to his experts.  He contained the rebellion from spreading.  He gave his commanders tactical flexibility.  He gave them unconditional logistical support.  He gave them political cover.  He complied with the law.  He gave them morale boosts and was always on top of the situation WHILE fending off ridiculous grandstanding... He mourned each and every death.  He gave courage to the wounded..." -- Darwin Cañete.

          The impending victory (the war is not yet over) in the Marawi crisis speaks volumes about the greatness and the potentials of our Armed Forces.  It also speaks volumes about the President.  If you are into leadership, whether in practice or as an academic, and if you have been following the unique armed conflict in the Philippines since the 1970s then you know this is not a small feat for a President.  When we consider this victory against a potential global terrorist threat has been achieved by a President who is in office for less than half his full term and with daily attacks from all fronts -- from no less than fellow Filipinos themselves on shore and from international entities.  We have got to give it to the man.

         So where we now?  What are some of the things we could and still should do, whether we are pro or anti-Duterte?  Here's what I think:

1.     For the Pros, stop gloating about how great "our" Duterte is and ostracize those who speak against the President.  It is not a "we" versus "them".  The Captain needs all hands on deck.  We are on the same boat.  For the Antis, do keep your vigilance.  Just make sure you don't rock the boat too much and make it keel over and sink.  Keep speaking the message.  Just tone down a little.  Do not be surprised when the Pros seem rabid when you keep attacking them yourselves.  This applies both ways.

2.  To those spreading photos of Hapilon and Maute.  They are enemies of the State and are part of international terrorism; but on the other side of the fence they are relatives and brothers in faith.  Let us not create heroes for a new crop of terrorists.

3.   To the Philippine National Police.   The President pretty much gave the same support to you as he has to the Armed Forces.  Please police your ranks.  Do the drug war the right and legitimate way.  Sir Bato, we believe in you, but listen to valid criticisms also.  Encourage and support officers who are truly dedicated to their jobs and to the right way of doing things, like Supt. Allatog.

          The President's  giving of "tactical flexibility for commanders, unconditional logistical support and political cover" were vital ingredients to the success of the campaign.  To the PNP it has unfortunately become a cover  for EJKs (or whatever we wish to call it).

3.  For the President.  Please watch your words.  Please tone down on the cussing.  I know it is the language that most Filipinos understand.  Some people only listen and see we are dead serious when they feel anger through cussing but you have a very wide audience -- one that comprises the majority of our youth.

          Please reconsider threats of impeachments also.  I believe you have a high regard for our checks and balances.  You already control the Executive AND the Congress, please don't touch our Judiciary and the Ombudsman.  I believe in Chief Justice Sereno as much as I believe in your Presidency.  I cannot imagine the immense complexity and superhuman strength required of a Presidency that wants to bring corruption to its bare minimum.

          The Ombudsman and the Supreme Court may not agree with you always but look at how Congress through the COA has frustrated the confirmation of your progressive appointments.

          We need a stable system when you graciously and honorably leave office after your term.  We will only have you for a full six years.  We need our democratic institutions for the rest of our country's existence.

          I think Darwin Cañete has summarized the outline to your success, Sir.  Give more thought to the first in his list and you will be good with those who are "undecided".  You might even win over some of your ideological opponents.  Don't bother woooing those who merely want to jump parties for political expediency.  Our country does not need them.

          Hail to the Chief.  Hail to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.  Long live the Republic of the Philippines.

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