5 Reasons why Filipinos dig Duterte vs De Lima Feud

Over the past few months, the seemingly endless row between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila De Lima has caught the interest of Filipinos like a top rating soap opera.

Awkward handshake between Duterte and De Lima before their clash.
Awkward handshake between Duterte and De Lima before their clash. PHOTO CREDIT: Rappler
Duterte, who was criticized by the former Human Rights chair and DOJ secretary for the alleged killings in Davao City, accused De Lima of coddling drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison and receiving money from illegal drugs. Meanwhile, De Lima formerly headed a Senate investigation on extra-judicial killings involving Duterte’s war on illegal drugs before being ousted by fellow Senators.

Moreover, the president shocked the whole nation with his allegation that De Lima had an illicit relationship with former driver Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, whom he named as the senator’s bagman in New Bilibid Prison.

Their daily tirades and accusations against each other became trending topics on social media, making them the most-talked about political figures in the Philippines. As the plot thickens and the characters of the ongoing feud becoming more intriguing, Filipinos can’t seem to get enough of this fight.

We give you 5 reasons why Filipinos are digging this feud.

1. Duterte and De Lima are equally interesting characters.

Known for his temper and colorful language, Duterte made no-holds barred remarks against De Lima calling her an “immoral” senator. At one point, the country’s commander-in-chief even dared De Lima to just hang herself and resign from her post as senator. With such statements coming from the most powerful man in the country, you’d think De Lima would just back down and follow his advice. However, the fearless senator showed no signs of giving up and even dared the Duterte to just arrest her.

Now that’s a fight that could rival one of Senator Manny Pacquiao’s, right?

2. It has a telenovela effect.

Mind-blowing revelations, intriguing characters, and cliffhangers are essential elements in Pinoy telenovelas. The Duterte vs De Lima feud seem to have all of these three factors making netizens passionately follow their story. A lover, an apparent sex video, secret bank accounts, vigilante killings as well as prison riots- these are what hit telenovelas are made of.

3. Cayetano and Trillanes are good supporting casts.

As if the bad blood between Duterte and De Lima isn’t enough to give top ratings, their respective supporters Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV even made the feud more amusing with their clash during a Senate hearing. While Cayetano was busy interrogating self-confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) member Edgar Matobato, Trillanes decided to take matters into his own hand and turned off the former’s microphone, fuelling a word war. Trillanes later apologized for his behavior.

4. The witnesses’ statements will blow you away.

Although Matobato’s claims and serious allegations against Duterte didn’t seem to convince most Pinoys, the testimonies of high profile inmates including Herbert Colanggo, who claimed he was allowed to sell a box of beer that costs P700 for P10,000, inside the NBP certainly drove everyone crazy.

5. It is a national issue.

Extrajudicial killings and the illegal drug trade proliferation at the NBP, if proven true, will completely change the state of war on illegal drugs in the country. Beyond scandals and intrigues, Filipinos are more concerned in resolving these issues that highly affect the nation’s future.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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