EDITORIAL| Feeding the machine

MAYOR Rodrigo Duterte’s filing of the certificate of candidacy for the presidency unwittingly thrusts Davao City into prominence. As the legend of the man’s exploits quickly spreads on social media, so does the city’s perceived utopia under his watch.

For instance, there’s the survey result of Numbeo.com declaring Davao City as the safest place in the world, which has been shared and re-shared as a testament to Duterte’s brand of governance, particularly on peace and order.

Of course, the survey is hardly a credible source because it is crowd-sourced, and can be easily manipulated. A number of die-hard Duterte supporters, for example, can flood the website of positive feedback regarding Davao City’s peace and order.

There’s another perception that one can walk in Davao City in the wee hours of the morning without being mugged or robbed. That is such a blanket statement that can be dangerous for tourists and visitors who don’t know any better.

Davao City, like most places in the country, is plagued by hooliganism, robberies, murders and drugs. It’s hardly recommended to walk alone at night. Youth gangs protect their own territories, and are not averse to hurting an innocent bystander for the thrill of it.

Filipinos have the tendency to be regionalistic, and that means we protect our own.  That’s why the kneejerk reaction to any criticism hurled at Duterte is either to lash back, or to embellish the truth.

That’s not to dismiss Duterte’s accomplishments in the city. For all his failings (after all, he still couldn’t shed off the death squad stigma), Dabawenyos know he is a good leader which allows Davao City to pioneer landmark laws replicated in other areas of the country, such as the Anti-Smoking Ordinance, Firecracker Ban, Alcohol Ban, Women and Children’s Welfare Code, and the Anti-Discrimination Ordinance.

The point being is that we, as Dabawenyos, need to have the astuteness to discern the truth from the propaganda on social media, and the wisdom to refrain from spreading further the lies.

Posted in Opinion