Vulture Test: Watching Duterte

In the wild, vultures feed themselves with carcass of other animals. Their excellent senses of smell and sight provide them with handy tools of a scavenger. They are mostly found atop trees or cliff, the better for them to spot opportunities on the sprawling fields of life and death below.

Make no mistake about it: scavengers, whether vultures or human beings, are key support bases of life. That’s how important they are.

While human scanvengers and their kind have power to sieve people according to character, vultures and their scavenging kind have power to keep the balance of a healthy environment. They contain bacteria and viruses from the decaying and toxic protein, much like the way poor people can, with God’s mercy and depending on how this wretched kind of people are being treated, save humanity from spiritual decay.

But that’s about where the parallels end. Human vultures are not scavengers. They are the elite of society. They don’t fight for crumbs; their places are reserved at the top of the food chain. This battered planet can survive without the political vultures; it cannot without the scavengers.

In politics, vultures take the form of people who are in the lookout of every shaky steps taken by the existing social order. They pounce on opportunities for replacing the incapacity of existing principalities with power holders of their own, or of vested interests they represent.

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has brought to Malacanañ certain ways of doing things that the country has not experienced since its independence from colonial masters. Novel Duterte rejects public offers of criticism and broadsides, for example. Instead, he returns them to sender, wrapped, that is, in the language of unknown galaxies (no offense to extra-galactic beings, please). He builds an image where one is at risk to question the wisdom of his actions. The wellspring of his knowledge is wide and deep: at one time he even suggested he could teach God on the finer points of justice. Hinting at being Nostradamus, he also at one instance remarked that he might not survive the full length of his term.

Are there signs for vultures to get excited?

Duterte is hardly in the mold of the traditional politician that traditional Filipinos have come to know. He rocks the boat and in that boat many are upset just as those who enjoy the ride are plenty. From those who voted for him and the new converts, this probably explains why he continues to attract many supporters. He does make change happen, either for the worse or for the better, depending on who the judge is.

It is time to know the believers from non-believers. Be the judge of which way the vultures are looking. Let your thoughts be counted. Take the poll below and join the conversation under the comments section.

Will the President survive his term?
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