By: John Carlo Tria
THE 15 OR SO separate RevGov rallies that took place last Nov 30, 2017 surprised many, not only because no one really expected the rallies to take place, but more so because a good number of detractors challenged its validity, and in effect gave it the attention and power it needed.
As it slowly called for support over the last three months, the brickbats thrown at the idea of a revolutionary government only gave it the attention needed to magnify its message, and overcome the difficulty of reaching out to many people, who later came to join.
Truth is, President Duterte has long called for drastic changes in the way government is run, promising a “clean government“ that is, by itself, a big claim to make, and requires a thorough, drastic and in many ways painful transition from the way Filipinos have done government for the last 100 years.
This expectation is high on the minds of many now linked through social media and incensed at the way the opposition has failed to provide meaningful and inspiring critique to challenge the current government. This failure has galvanized a deep distrust of them, leaving them reviled as mere political opportunists with little to show for their almost 30 years in power.
Apart from the obvious changes on the political front are radical in their audacity, such as the pay hikes for police and military personnel, the free college tuition, the shorter lines for passports, five year validities for drivers licenses and car registrations, the 8888 hotline and the strong efforts to challenge the drug menace that has successfully lowered crime rates and built up current government as a strong one, able to put its money where it says it will.
To cap it off, it said it will beat ISIS, and did. This is the first time a Filipino government was able to impose its will on an enemy. Thus the resolve to get things done is clearly messaged, and the and the people, who continue to give it high trust and satisfaction ratings, agree.
Most recently, the Publicus Asia survey noted that 8 out of 10 millennials believe in Duterte. Clearly, he is a man whose words, actions and programs have captured their attention, as 81% of them now lend focus on political issues unlike before. This is a change.
The greater attention that attracted people to look at the workings of government, and be vigilant to monitor its achievements is fed by social media and its ability to keep issues fresh in the minds of people. Thus, the heightened interest in politics.
With this, people are drawn to discussions about politics and the changes happening around them. They have seen how change happens, and are egged on to demand more to fulfill the campaign promises they hinged their hopes on. This is why, contrary to the detractors’ opinions, these rallies have drawn the number it did
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