In an archipelagic state with a little more than one
hundred of million of inhabitants who were inheritors political subdivisions by colonialism and imperialism
by Spain for 333 years, the United States for 50 years,
and Japan for 3 years; a partial independence was
declared on July 4, 1946---following the infamous
World War II that devastated its major government
establishments and more than a million precious lives
Seventy years thereafter, the time-honored issue of
independence from external control was revived
by a self-made leader from the island of Mindanao who
politically rocks and commands respect. With him, an
independent foreign policy is achieved, thereby
transforming the country into a genuine sovereign
Philippine state on June 30, 2016.
The unfolding of historic events would lead him to be
viewed by his believers domestically and international-ly as the savior of his country with more than four
million citizens who are enslaved by illegal drugs, greatly affected by massive corruption, and seemingly
insurmountable challenges of criminality that he promised to resolve through his unique leadership tempered
with tapang at malasakit---propelling for shift from
unitary to federal form of government---towards
lasting peace, inclusive growth, and sustainable
However, his staunch critiques especially those who
enjoyed the status-quo and some who cherish the
bounty of life out of other people’s misery sees other-wise. Thus, he being put in the limelight for various
reasons, and the rest is history in the making. Having this in context, the author, sees it fit and timely to present this modest exploratory endeavor to knowing further the political Rock-Star of Asia for his one dozen
of firsts, to wit:
1) Rodrigo Roa Duterte is the first elected Philippine president from Mindanao.
Duterte (DU30) is of a Cebuano (from Danao), Chinese (from Macao), and Moro
decent (from Lanao province)---M’ranao in his maternal side.
2) DU30 is the first local chief executive to become president of the Philippine Republic being the Mayor for 23 years instrumental in transforming the backward locality to one of the most livable cities of the world-Davao. He is better known in his constituents
in Davao City and beyond as Mayor “Digong.”
3) Mayor “Digong” is the first elected president without a sophisticated machinery and financial resources who captured power that eventually became his very high political capital of more than 14 million votes that was and still is being optimized in supporting his government initiatives that resulted to an unprecedented 7.1% GDP growth making the Philippines one of the fastest growing economies in the fastest growing region in the world. In fact, President DU30 belong a politically ill-equipped PDP-Laban resulting to very few of his PDP-Laban party-mates won. However, he managed to have garnered a super
majority in the bicameral Philippine legislative bodies,---the House of
Representative with its Speaker Alvarez from Mindanao and the Senate
with its President of the Senate Pimentel, III who also hailed from from
4) DU30 is the first president in the 21st century-Philippines who immediately got the attention of the international community by articulating at the ASEAN Leaders’ Summit that the conflict in Mindanao was the result of “historical injustices that the country must correct,”---a historical piece that he advanced in his campaign sorties. He also stressed in several official appearances the “historical injustices” against the Moro people in the Bud Dajo Massacre in 1906 in the island of Jolo in Mindanao by the United States armed forces. After the APEC Summit in Peru through an exclusive interview with the leading broadcast journalist of Russia Today (RT), President DU30 emphasized another atrocities by the American soldiers in the Philippines to include the Balangiga Massacre of a Christian village in the Visayas and further stressed that the bells of the churches that were looted and were not returned up to this juncture.
5) President “Digong” is the first leftist president of the Philippines who appointed considerable number of cabinet members holding key portfolios in the executive department who were recommended by the CPP-NDF leadership. He often sided with most of the Filipinos---the masses; and constructively criticised the country’s oligarchs over issues of national concerns like not proper declaration and taxes, mining and environmental degradation, and land grabbing that got the support of the people and ire of the elites. Thus, he is otherwise known as People’s President Rody Duterte or PPRD.
6) PPRD is the first president to have launched a cease-fire; and a peace negotiation for the three major rebel fronts: the GRP-NDFP, GRP-MNLF, GRP-MILF towards lasting peace, inclusive growth, and sustainable development.
7) DU30 is also the first newly elected president in the Philippines to immediately assume leadership in the ASEAN in 2017 (few months after his assumption to power). The Philippines will be hosting the ASEAN Summit and BIMP-EAGA engagements in 2017.
8) Mayor “Digong” is the first president in various occasions who used “post-colonialism, postmodernism, and poststructuralism” tempered with geopolitical juxtaposition of the United States and the Philippines. He was the first president of a developing state to have boycotted the media networks and eventually snubbed leaders of great powers and have cussed words to great political institutions after criticizing his no-nonsense fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption---that gave him some troubles at the outset with president Barrack Obama of the United States of America (U.S.), the special rapporteur of the United Nations (U.N.), and the some officials of the European Union (E.U.) for the alleged DU30 government sponsored Extra-Judicial Killings (EJKs).
9) DU30 is the first elected president coming from the elders (senior citizen) sector of the Philippine society (72 year old), and strategically rocks with his high octane power politics putting the Philippine national interests in the forefront of discourses in the realm of geopolitics and historiography.
10) DU30 was the first presidential aspirant who overwhelmingly won---DU31---notwithstanding his controversial election promises and commitments like:
Ø The Shift from Unitary to Federal form of government;
Ø The Burial of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB)---that the Supreme Court of the Philippines sustained with a vote of 9 Associate Justices in favor of the Duterte’s presidential action and held to be legal and in accord with the 1987 Philippine Constitution, 5 magistrates including the Chief Justice voted against, and 1 Associate Justice inhibited due to his being a College of Law fraternity brother of the chief executive; and
Ø The no-nonsense fight against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption.
11) DU30 turned out to be the first Philippine president to have optimized a “high octane power politics” at the outset of his leadership who implemented to its truest meaning the “Filipino First Policy” by enforcing the express provision Article II, Section 7 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution which states that "[T]he State shall pursue an independent foreign policy. In its relations with other states the paramount consideration shall be national sovereignty, territorial integrity, national interest, and the right to self-determination."
12) Finally, the first controversial, most talked-about and thought-provoking president in the 21st century---President Duterte---is also seen by some members of the international community as an astute geopolitical player, a brilliant leader with a higher sense of historicity, and dubbed as the “Rock Star of Asia.”