Of the profanities that President Rodrigo Duterte has unleashed since assuming the presidency of the Philippines in June 2016, the most blasphemous and definitely, most un-presidential, was the question (“Who is this stupid God?”) he raised on June 22 in a public speech somewhere in Mindanao.

(OMG, he did not respect my birthday! Walang pag-galang sa matanda! No respect for elders. Oops, he is two years older. Hehe.)

It elicited the loudest noise and angriest reactions from Filipino netizens.

Without social media, which Filipinos use as outlet for anti-Duterte pent-up emotions, perhaps, Mr. Duterte would have been ousted by now thru people power revolt.

I don’t know how long this president could effectively carry out the functions of his office now that his people and the world around him has a very low regard and respect for him.

The Philippines is 85% Catholic.

It seems Duterte has chosen the wrong battle.

Questions are being raised by keen observers as to why he chose to attack God when it had nothing to do with Philippine issues that matter, like the problematic economy, rising prices of gas and basic commodities, territorial issue with China, massive corruption in government, unsolved killings of three Catholic priests, and the continuing extrajudicial killings of suspected drug addicts and questionable arrests of young people loitering in the streets.

One commenter simply said, “Foolish!”

A Catholic priest, “He (Duterte) is very strange.”

A Filipina businesswoman, “Duterte has a number of failings in his presidency, but this one is his biggest failure.”

A Filipina-American housewife, “The more reason it should cause a global uproar of Filipinos. Sobra na yan! (Too much already!).”

A Pinoy lawyer immigrant in New York City, “...Everyone who believes in GOD, no matter his/her religious or political affiliation, needs to express disgust about what our President said...I am saddened that even supposedly smart lawyers like Roque and Panelo are spinning lame arguments to support the presidential rants. They have suddenly become ‘experts’ in theology. I’m sure they, too, believe in GOD, and I am saddened that they were more ready to defend the President than defend their GOD. For what? To ingratiate themselves with the President and remain in office? What about GOD? It is not surprising though. Wasn’t Christ betrayed by one of His friends for some coins? ‘For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?’ (Mark 8: 36). Roque and Panelo need to read about St. Thomas More, himself a lawyer, and how he defended his faith (to the point of death) against his superior, the King of England. To many of us, this maybe is the defining moment of our faith. Are we for GOD, or are we for man...”

Referring to those who mock God like Duterte, a Filipino archbishop said, “They might be insane or possessed. They need God.”

A Pinoy teacher in New York, “The most stupid and pathetic person is he who does not respect d One Who created him.”

Possible motive?

The big question raised by many quarters is why.

Why did Pres. Duterte bring up the Adam and Eve issue from the Genesis in the Old Testament?

Did he plan to raise the offensive remark or was it a spur of the moment thing for lack of more productive topics to bring to his audience?

Or was it part of his dictatorial and totalitarian plans?

We assumed the latter.

So, we referred to the British political theorist Friedrich Hayek as contained in a November 2017 political essay.

Friedrich August Hayek.

After the British depression of the 1920s, Hayek promoted the idea that private investment, rather than government spending, would promote sustainable growth.

In 1974, Hayek won the Nobel Prize for Economics for his pioneering work in the theory of money and economic fluctuations.

In his book, The Road to Serfdom, in a chapter titled “Why the Worst Get on Top,” Hayek continues to warn about the dangers of planned economies.

Hayek did not only identify economic problems, but also discussed the very nature of power itself.

Specifically, he discussed how totalitarians are able to rise to power and coerce entire populations into absolute despotism.

What is so fascinating about Hayek’s warnings in this chapter is the fact that they were written at a time when the world was desperately trying to make sense of what had just occurred in Germany during WWII.

Hitler and the Third Reich were all too fresh in the minds of all mankind, making Hayek’s warnings relevant.

The world was determined to never let that kind of evil loose on civilization again, but as Hayek warned, it is not merely a matter of making sure “good” people get elected to office; it is making sure totalitarianism is rejected at all corners: economic, political, social and all other forms imaginable.

(Filipino voters should have known better in 2016.)

History’s most notorious dictators did not rise to power randomly.

And in this chapter of his book, Hayek explains why the most despicable people always end up with political power and why, to paraphrase Lord Acton, absolute power always corrupts absolutely.

Thus, in view of similar dictatorial manifestations by President Duterte, there is a need for Filipinos to be extremely watchful.

They should not give more power to Duterte.

They should study and reject the forthcoming constitutional amendments, like Federalism.

They should watch for the Transitory Provisions that may deliberately give more power to the incumbent president and extend his term.

With an economy that is getting worse, and a leader who continues to alienate himself from his people, and who faces an examination by the International Criminal Court for possible crimes against humanity, the Filipino people’s plate is full.

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