Bolsonaro contrast ‘understandable’

The comparisons floated by global commentators between President Rodrigo Duterte and President-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil was “understandable” since both are populist leaders, Malacañang said yesterday.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said both also came to power because of the desire of voters in their respective countries for formidable and decisive leadership.

Foreign news outlets had pointed out how Duterte and Bolsonaro gained attention with their controversial remarks – the two leaders are vocal on their disdain for human rights organizations and fascination for military rule and both have also been criticized for making rape jokes.

Duterte has made numerous remarks in the past about rape while Bolsonaro said he won’t rape an ugly woman.

However, the comparison between the two presidents end there, according to the Palace official.

“Mr. Bolsonaro is yet to assume the presidency and will only do so come 1 January 2019. Everything is merely speculative at this point,” Panelo said in a press statement.

Gallant measures

“This is no different when PRRD (Mr. Duterte) was referred to as ‘Asia’s Donald Trump’ for initiating trailblazing reforms in the Philippines. This is also no different when the President was likened to strong and tough heads of state who implement gallant measures against lawlessness,” he added.

Panelo stressed that Duterte has been demonstrating his “unique but effective” style of governance for the past two and a half years, while Bolsonaro still has to begin his four-year term to be able to really show what kind of a leader he is.

“In his first two-and-a-half years in office, President Duterte has demonstrated that he has his own unique but effective style of managing the affairs of the bureaucracy and the country. His administration has been known for the ‘Tapang at Malakasakit’ (Courage and Empathy) brand of leadership which is esteemed by an overwhelming majority of Filipinos,” stated Panelo.

Both advocates vs crime

So far in his term, the Chief Executive has undertaken policy shifts, although with much controversy, like his controversial campaign against illegal drugs, allowing the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the heroes’ cemetery and a friendly, independent foreign policy towards China.

The 63-year-old Bolsonaro, meanwhile, has vowed to crack the whip on crime in Brazil’s cities and farm belt by giving the country’s police force added authority to shoot at criminals. He also wants to let more Brazilians buy weapons to fight crime.

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