"No legacy, just a reputation"
By Louise Coleen Magahis
On November 27, 2015, a representative filed a presidential bid on President Rodrigo Duterte’s behalf at the Commission on Elections.
Just a month earlier, Duterte had denied that he would run for president in the 2016 elections in a press conference, putting an end to weeks of widespread uncertainty among the public.
“I am sorry to disappoint those who spent much and worked hard and long in support of me… The country does not need me. I find no need for it (the presidency),” he affirmed.
On July 1, Duterte started the last year of his presidency. His last State-of-the-Nation Address will be on July 26, Monday. What kind of legacy will he leave in history as one of the Philippines' most divisive presidents?
According to Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, Duterte's true legacy is the war on drugs, since he kept his pledge that the Philippines will defeat illicit substances.
In a previous episode of Counterpoint, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo laid out the laws approved by the Duterte administration, as well as the projects accomplished during Duterte's mandate.
Undoubtedly, the President executed certain operations and established legislation that would aid or enhance the lives of Filipinos.
But those are not what define one's legacy -- those are merely responsibilities of an elected president.
Being the head of state entails taking obligations and carrying them out, in accordance with the law, in order to alleviate the suffering of your countrymen. Taking an oath or pledge to rule the nation creates a set of duties that must be met.
A president's legacy is a trace that one sets on the history of everyone's life and the land; this is frequently accomplished by stepping outside one's sphere of influence and creating a significant effect that may truly alter the future.
A government's legacy is not just about what it did for its people; it's about how they strengthened the public's welfare and the significance they had during their reign.
People should understand that a professional with a legacy will not talk about what he or she has produced. The achievement will speak for him or her.
The criminal thoughts, violent emotions, and negative actions of the Duterte administration threw a veil over the charitable works after years of his rule. A legacy was not made, the only thing that the president is about to leave is a reputation.
It is now up to the public to decide if that reputation is beneficial or undesirable. The forthcoming elections in 2022 will speak about everything. Be sensible, vote cautiously and wisely.
The author is a graduating journalism student at the University of Santo Tomas.