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Davao City Mayor and Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte’s words during the rally at Amoranto Stadium has drawn flaks from women about his joke about rape, despite it being clearly a joke.

Some will shift votes to someone morally upright like Miram Defensor Santiago or Mar Roxas. Some however, knows Duterte’s tact is simply something people aren’t used to.

But will you be swayed by mere statements like this and throw away the chance for real change?

While morals is indeed in outmost regard to some, they take a backseat when it comes to actual decision-making, and making hard-to-swallow policies that are for the greater good.

Many policies that are for the greater good will inevitably hurt sensitive nerves, go affront to morality and sometimes evoke nightmares of Martial Law. Many politicians are afraid of hurting feelings, emotions and morals, and sometimes craft laws in respect to emotion of the people, which, consequentially, contributes to mediocrity and the mentality of being too forgiving.

Only a few are willing to brave controversy and condemnation just to make the right calls in politics.

Duterte has repeatedly shown a less-than-impressive hold of tact, from hailing enemies of state to becoming insensitive. But that did not prevent him from holding office effectively, and becoming a leader recognized by all in good light.

Ultimately, he later apologized to those offended by the joke, and recalled the events that led to it; him being a voluntary sacrifical lamb to save hostages, particularly an infant, and later, to exterminate the criminals who killed the Australian missionary that was raped earlier. These were situations he put his very life on the line, and know all too well the mortal price if it goes wrong.

To deny votes for Duterte simply because your emotions were hurt shows lack of critical analysis. It’s all about you and your morals, when emotion overwhelms you. Reason, logic and everything else is clouded.

Many who encounters those that insist on Duterte will resort to karmic comparison, aka. ‘what if it happens to you, will you laugh’? and call those callous enough to shrug it as morally dead.

They are also most likely to forget that Duterte, ironically, for being a womanizer, and now an accidental rape advocate, crafted plenty of pro-women policies in Davao City. These were in place before Quezon City made similar policies to protect women.

And they forget one key fact in the elections.

We are not voting for someone we fawn over. We are voting for someone who will be the steward for the future of the country, for better or for worse. This is not a beauty pageant on who is more appealing, more attractive, more marketable. We are looking for a leader who can fix the country, enhance it, and turn it into a country every Filipino can be proud of.

The heart is the worst decision maker, especially when clouded by emotions. Your mind is meant for making decisions. Will you revert to mediocrity because your feelings was hurt, a candidate was tactless in speech, or it evoked nightmares from you?

Enough is enough. We are looking for a leader to pull the country forward, not a feel-good friend who is most likely to promote status quo of incompetence for the sake of sating people at the price of true progress.

The country has tried this ‘morally upright’ path before, with a pristine and corruption-free personality, in the form of Benigno Aquino III. It doesn’t take rocket science to see where it has led the country to; in utter ridicule.

UDPATE: A video of Duterte’s explanation was released, adding to the details of the situation. The article is accordingly updated to reflect it.

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