National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil Jose has endorsed Davao City Rodrigo Duterte for president. In a post on his Facebook page, the preeminent Filipino novelist began by acknowledging that a Duterte victory during the May 9, 2016 as a very strong possibility.
Sionil Jose argued that votes cast for Duterte represents the anger of Filipinos. “If Duterte wins the election, his victory will be brought about by millions of Filipinos fed up with corruption at all levels of our society, and frustrated that the gains of the Aquino administration do not translate into their improved welfare and safety,” the National Artist wrote.
He also noted that Duterte’s candidacy represents radical change. “If he is not sucked into the rotten patronage system as most of our politicians are, or assassinated, he may hasten the implosion which is already in progress, evident in the Duterte phenomenon itself and in the discrediting of so many of our institutions, from the Supreme Court to our churches to Congress,” he further explained.
The internationally-acclaimed novelist emphasized that Duterte’s success depends on he will enforce change once he assumed office. “He must have the total support of our Armed Forces, just as Magsaysay did, if he is to destroy corruption, dismantle the oligarchy and the provincial warlords, resolve the Communist and Moro rebellions, and strengthen the Philippines’ position against China,” Sionil Jose added.
For all its weaknesses, the Armed Forces is organized and disciplined, and is composed of patriotic and principled Filipinos. They will die for our poor country yet are often little appreciated by the people themselves. I have seen from the many times I have spoken with them that our Armed Forces have learned from its martial law experience. They can halt the disintegration of this nation.
Apart from receiving the National Artist Award for Literature in 2001, Sionil Jose, 91, also earned the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts in 1980. He is best known for his “Rosales Saga” book series, which is set in his hometown of Rosales, Pangasinan.