Trawling through other sites and forums I’ve come across posts from expats in the Philippines who are genuinely worried about what life will be like under the new president. Some have already left due to their fears, others planning to do so in the near future.
Here are some of their concerns:
A return to martial law. Due to Duterte’s hardline approach in Davao it’s inevitable the Philippines will return to the dark days of the Marcos era. Already he’s promising a liquor ban from 1am – 8am, and minors to be off the streets after 10pm. They see this as a natural progression to all out martial law in the near future.
The Philippines will become a communist country. A known NPA sympathizer and mentored as a student by Joma Sison (the exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines) there is a fear with some expats that Duterte will quickly transform the Philippines into a communist nation. He also says he’s open to a joint venture with China over the disputed Spratley Islands and has admitted that an anonymous Chinese donor helped fund his campaign. For many older expats, especially ex military guys who were conditioned to loathe communism during the cold war, these are big red flags.
The Philippines will be taken over by Islam. Many foreigners throw the MORO, MILF and Abu Sayaf in the same basket, so when Duterte comes out with statements such as, “If I become president, one foot of the Moro people will be in Malacanang,” and they see videos of him shouting “Allah Akbar” at muslim dominated rallies many of them worry the whole country will quickly become an Islamic state.
I can’t live under the rule of a mass murderer. For moral reasons some can’t accept Duterte’s self-confessed extra judicial killings. The promise of 50,000 murders and the Manila streets awash with blood is a bit too much for some.
Fear of being set up on false accusations. With murderers running around targeting people for “accused” crimes without a fair trial some don’t want to wait for the possibility of being set up on trumped up charges.
I don’t want to live in a nanny state. For some expats the reason they chose the Philippines to live is it’s lawlessness. They want to ride around drunk on motorcycles with no crash helmets and don’t want to be dictated to when and where they can drink and smoke. Doh!
At this stage it’s hard to envisage exactly what might play out over the next 6 years. Who knows, he could turn out to be the savior they’re all praying for. Personally, I think the above fears are mostly paranoia and stupidity. His links to muslims and communists is just him playing a cute game, making friends and getting respect among alienated groups and winning votes, without paying for them. The liquor bans and curfews are common in most countries, nothing new there.
My biggest concern would be that his big mouth embarrasses him once again internationally, another stupid rape joke, he gets condemned by the US, AUS or whoever, and he does literally sever ties with these countries. This could breed hatred amongst millions of his rabid followers who could take this that it’s now open game season on all foreigners. His rape joke was a real face palm moment, but from what I saw from his supporters was unbelievable. They defended him, blaming the bias media for twisting his words, and then pride that he stood up to the US and AUS. One comment I saw – “Wow, our future president really isn’t scared of anybody!”
These people have had an inferiority complex about westerners for a long time. They’d love nothing more than to be given the confidence by their beloved leader that they can now stand up to them without consequence.