Is “bayot” an insult? I’m wondering because last night I heard Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte on TV saying this in reaction to Mar Roxas’ expression of disbelief to his (Duterte’s) incredible claim that he could eradicate criminality in the first six months of his presidency, if and when he gets elected.
The way he said it, his body language, the tone, his facial expression – all convey his meaning, that bayot (gay) is something so hateful and disgusting that he reserves that judgment to those who dare question the pronouncements of Emperor Digong. Well, to be fair, that is probably his most benevolent method of answering his critics. I suspect he has far more “creative” methods of silencing them.
I can just hear his followers saying, “Buti nga bayot lang e. Dapat sa iyo pinapatay.” (You should be thankful you're just being called bayot. You should have been killed.) And they’re right. They will inform you this, with unholy glee and righteous anger, with blazing, fanatic eyes and hands gesticulating wildly (or maybe pounding furiously on the keyboard), while pointing out that Davao is heaven on earth. After all, Duterte’s critics are - to hear those people drunk on Duterte-flavored Kool Aid describe them – stupid, ignorant, uneducated criminals, and deserve to be raped and murdered, including their families (I wish I were joking).
And another thing – is that man capable of answering criticisms without resorting to insults and veiled and not-so-veiled threats? You know, I seriously doubt it. After years of being THE Optimus Maximus of Davao, it probably hadn’t occurred to him that others might be right, and he – dare I say it? – might be wrong.
He still hasn’t given an unequivocal answer though, on how he would rid the country of criminality within six months. That would be a feat for the ages. I get that political promises are a synonym for excrement (bovine, human, and whatnot) but this promise is so laughably far-fetched and prodigiously absurd, that it deserves to be in a class of its own.
We all have a sneaking suspicion of what he is up to, and it is troubling that his followers are okay with it. They welcome it, in fact. You could hear their collective panties dropping when Emperor Digong announced that he would bring back curfew – that endearing facet of Martial Law.
Is the Philippines this broken that we welcome people like this self-styled demigod to hold the highest office in the land?
Yes, I fear it has come to this.