The Philippines, a nation full of teens who couldn’t even get a ride to the mall on Thursday, just elected as its president Rodrgio Duterte, who wants to impose a national curfew for youths, ban smoking and drinking in public places, and crack down on the karaoke menace. One can only imagine that Filipino children are none too happy with their parents for electing him.
Duterte has served as mayor of the city of Davao for thirty years, and he has already enacted many of his proposed new rules there. “Though taxi drivers still grumble about the 60 kilometer-an-hour (37-mile-an-hour) speed limit,” the Wall Street Journal reports, “many citizens in this city of roughly 1.5 million people seem comfortable enough with Mr. Duterte’s rules.” But does that “many” include 14-year-old boys with rat tails who find no greater thrill in life than throwing toilet paper all over the homes of girls with whom they hope to attend the school dance?
The president-elect wants to close down all karaoke bars after 9 p.m., ban the consumption of alcohol after 1 a.m., and subject the parents of children who go outside without an escort after 10 p.m. to criminal penalties.
His mean streak, however, is not limited to kids who sneak out at slumber parties. Duterte has also pledged to reinstate the death penalty, which the Philippines phased out ten years ago, and to allow cops to shoot people on sight if they are suspected of being involved with organized crime. As the Telegraph notes, he has joked that a gang rape victim was “so beautiful” that he wished he could “have been first” to get to her, and once said on the campaign trail that the Philippines should open more funeral parlors if he were to be elected, because “They will be packed. I’ll supply the dead bodies.” Benigno Aquino, Duterte’s predecessor, called him a “dictator-in waiting.”
As in the U.S., the national voting age in the Philippines is 18. All I’m saying is: this never would have happened if the nation’s scruffy lunchtime detention truants were allowed to fully participate in democracy.