Filipinos in Michigan have mixed reactions to the election of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as next Philippine president.
Michigan Filipinos, who openly supported the presidential bid of the Davao mayor, expressed optimism that the president-elect will be able to make good his promises, particularly on the eradication of criminality and corruption. These Pinoys include former FILAMCCO president Van Ong, former Kiwanis Club of Cosmopolitan Detroit president Eleanor Jenks, PACCM Director Loida Moses, and Red Ribbon store owner Lynlyn Duterte.
Ong, who is a native of Calinan, Davao City, said he believes that the achievements of Duterte in Davao could be replicated all over the country. Ong said, “He made Davao peaceful, and he can also make the whole nation peaceful.”
He also said that Duterte is the only leader who can solve the Mindanao conflict.
Eleanor Jenks, who also hails from Davao City, campaigned for Duterte here in Michigan. She is also hopeful that the Duterte administration will bring positive changes to the Philippines.
But former NaFFAA national chairman Ed Navarra has a different take on the Duterte presidency. Navarra, who supported the presidential candidacy of Mar Roxas, said that he believes Duterte will probably parallel that of former President Joseph Estrada’s fate. He recalled that during Estrada’s term, the people’s “hopes and dreams turned into chaos” after he faced plunder and impeachment proceedings.
Other Michigan Filipinos queried by the Filipino Star on their reactions to the victory of Duterte said they are adopting a wait-and-see attitude. These Filipinos include Sofy Bole, former PNAM president. Others say they will pray for the success of Duterte’s programs.
Meanwhile, Jewish American Jeff Jenks, who has been regularly visiting Davao City since 1962, said Duterte would bring to the presidency 39 years of public service experience, including 23 years of effective executive skill as mayor.
Jenks noted that “the mayor has successfully fought crime and corruption, created an inclusive economy for all residents and provided equal protection to all. He was in Congress for three years and vice mayor for three years.”
He added, “Davao City is considered the 5th safest city in Asia, one of the most liveable cities in Asia and child-friendly and safe. It is the most competitive city to do business in, most culture-friendly city in the Philippines with a seal of good governance. Think of how you would feel if the Philippines could be described as the best in each of these areas.”