Rodrigo Duterte

About those Filipino Catholics: What does it mean when a murderer is elected president?

About those Filipino Catholics: What does it mean when a murderer is elected president?

In an increasingly insecure world, blow-back politics -- the lurch to the right after years of liberal government stumbles and outright failures -- has increasingly taken hold in the democratic West. We've seen it in Poland and earlier this year in Great Britain (Brexit).

It also goes a long way toward explaining how electoral long shot Donald Trump became President-elect Donald Trump.

How all this ends is anybody's guess. But let's hope it's not like the Philippines, where right-wing, electoral populism has birthed its deadliest spawn. That's where self-confessed murderer President Rodrigo Duterte has taken charge.

This week he uttered what arguably were his most outrageous comments yet. The Washington Post reported it thusly:

In his latest controversial statement, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, known for his bloody anti-drug war that has killed thousands, threatened to throw corrupt officials out of a helicopter, saying he has done it before, to a kidnapper, and won't hesitate to do so again.
“I will pick you up in a helicopter to Manila, and I will throw you out on the way,” Duterte said in Tagalog in front of a crowd in the Camarines Sur province Tuesday, according to GMA News. “I've done it before. Why would I not do it again?”

Yes. The people of the Philippines, an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic nation, freely voted into office a man who brags about his extra-judicial killing of those he judged to be incorrigible drug dealers and abusers, and others. And his henchmen follow his lead. And the Filipino people say they're, by and large, just fine with it.

This despite the fact that their church leaders openly and repeatedly condemned Duterte.

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