Dear Senator Alan Cayetano: “Would you please explain the term ‘discipline’ as used by the Duterte/Cayetano campaign?”
Society of Honor
Dear Senator Alan Cayetano:
I’m writing on behalf of Filipino voters who may be as confused as I am about things. I have a decent following here in the Philippines and may be able to help them understand what you and Mayor Duterte are proposing.
I hear the campaign promise of “discipline” made by the Duterte/Cayetano campaign. It is reflected in this quote from the Mayor:
Duterte: “As president, I will enforce the law and I will have to instill discipline and that is the only way we can go forward in this country. [Philstar]
I write to you because you are a lawyer and a representative of the national government as a senator. I hold great respect for the work you did on the Senate Blue Ribbon Subcommittee revealing the method and extent of the Binay plunderings.
To be frank, I don’t think I would relate too well to Mayor Duterte, because we don’t seem to share the same values about women, the NPA, China or human rights and I have a hard time grasping his comments in debates, which to me are flippant and not focused on policy that helps me understand the real promise of his and your candidacy.
But I digress.
These are the definitions of “discipline” from dictionary.com:
Yeah. A little overmuch, which helps create the confusion.
To instill discipline means you and the mayor are using the noun form, and if I look at the first four definitions . . . which are the most prevalent usages of the term . . . we would have:
The first is a teaching form, a way to get people to consistently do the proper thing. Marching in the army is a discipline. It is constructive and builds skills and teamwork.
The second is similar, but pertains to specific, repeated patterns to develop skill or desired results. Like jogging every morning. It, too, is positive.
The third is very different. It means punishment as a way of getting a desired behavior. The training method is to punish.
The fourth definition is fascinating. It is rather the way God or nature or fate teach. Trial and error, the hard lessons we learn just by living life. It can be either positive or punitive.
Am I correct that you and Mayor Duterte refer to definition three?
punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
This is generally the tone I hear to the pronouncements. That getting rid of drugs and crime, the essential first step to a progressive, growing nation, requires hunting down and punishing . . . even killing . . . offenders.
If I presume that to be the definition, I suppose I could go along with it if I knew the ground rules. That is, if the rules were clear so I knew how to avoid any trouble. I would hate to be walking down the sidewalk inadvertently following a drug dealer and get shot on the presumption of guilt by association.
So what are the rules? Are we talking laws? Those that exist now? New ones?
What will they be? Can a policeman shoot anyone standing in a room where there are drugs? Or must there be a visible act of resistance before killing occurs? Will these acts be video taped so that we don’t have runamok justice by any yahoo with a gun who says he represents Duterte/Cayetano? Or will each authorized enforcer carry the weight of a judge? Will investigations be done on suspects? Background checks? Prior problems with the law? That kind of thing? Or just executions if there is probable cause, in the eyes of the shooter?
I mean, getting done in three to six months is going to require moving fast.
Do you see the trouble I am having in knowing what this promised “discipline” is all about?
Frankly, it scares me a little.
This is what a Duterte follower named St Alphonsus wrote to me on my blog. That is, he came into my forum, my house, as a guest, and said these things:
Just what I thought of you Mr Joe America trying to be Pilipino!. You may understand our history but you will never experience what it feel like to be a Mindanaoan and a true Pilipino. You should go back to the US and welcome Trump because he will be your next President! Too bad and I feel bad most of the Americans are moving to Canada. Honestly, Americans like you are never welcome in Canada! Trump is right we should start building those walls because you are the exact duplicate of Mr. Trump. I appreciate your concern to Filipinos but sad to say YOU ARE NOT ONE OF US! AND YOU WILL NEVER BE! I fully understand that Americans are most hated in the world. If you want more of me… you let me stay in your blog but if you don’t I will understand. TRUTH HURTS! Lastly… Mar is truly a fraud. I know that you know that. Ciao Amico! [Comment from St Alphonsus]
Well, clearly Duterte follower St Alphonsus wants to discipline me for being from a place he doesn’t like, for having opinions he doesn’t like and for sponsoring a discussion forum that Filipinos find forthright and informative. Do you see why I am nervous about the un-defined ground rules for this discipline platform?
Will I be included in the Duterte/Cayetano promise to protect journalists? Or will you send in St Alphonsus to deal with me if I write a blog you find . . . um . . . uncomfortable?
The St Alphonsus form of intimidation tactic is common from Duterte backers, I have noticed. It is not that way even from Binay or Poe backers, and certainly not from that straight-arrow Roxas guy.
So I’m wondering why you and Mayor Duterte do not try to discipline your followers. Or why the Mayor’s spokesman felt it necessary to try to discipline the president of the Philippines so rudely with a “blood on your hands” remark after the tragic Cotabato confrontation. He sounded a lot like St Alphonsus to me.
Speaking of that incident, are the police seen as a part of the problem or a part of the solution? It seems to be set up by Mayor Duterte’s remarks that the police were the bad guys, but maybe I’m reading that wrong.
These things confuse me because it seems like discipline is something people other than Duterte/Cayetano supporters are supposed to do. The supporters’ job seems to be to levy discipline under rules they make up.
Would you be kind enough to explain this a little more clearly so that people know what to expect if they sign on to the “discipline” platform? I suppose I’d be happy with the simple statement that existing laws would be followed until they are changed.
That at least gives the people inputs into the development of the rules they are expected to obey, through the legislative process. You know, the way democracy works to develop, implement and enforce civility.
We are still talking about democracy, aren’t we? That, too, is a little unclear to me.
If you choose to clarify these matters for us, you may either send an e-mail to email@example.com, and I’ll publish it, or you can just write your comment in the discussion forum below.
Thanks. I appreciate the time you’ve taken to read this, and any response that may be forthcoming.