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Saint Louis University

School of Teacher Education and Liberal Arts
Department of Political and Social Sciences

Reinterpreting the Machiavellian Thought in
Deciphering the Geopolitical Strategies of 2016
Presidential Candidates

Submitted by:
I.D. Number


Submitted to:
Dr. Shivanee A. Dolo
Faculty-in-charge; Political Science 7A
9:30-10:30 MWF

The people of the Republic of the Philippines were actively participated in 2016 National
Elections held on May 09. According to the COMELEC Law Director Department Dir. Maria Norina
Tangaro-Casingal, this recently concluded elections had been participated by 115 party-lists
candidates, 50 senatorial candidates, 7 vice-presidential candidates and 5 presidential candidates for
national positions. According to the election turn-out, there were almost 82% of 54, 363, 844
registered voters who voted for this election-the highest voter’s turnout in Philippine 21 st century
elections. Moreover, Prof. Richard Javad Heydarian of DLSU (2016) argued that the 2016 National
Election Result was the fundamental manifestation that the nation have been suffering to
Huntington’s so-called “strongman syndrome” in which a belief that a leader must be a very strong

a strong man though brutish or egoistic should prevail in order to refocus the national goals and to ensure the provision of basic welfare services needed by the people adhering to the sentiments of status quo. musical people but show stoicism in life.) DISCUSSION A. Confined in this situation.) Principalities which lived under -The Leader must destroy the civil and political culture to their own laws impose a new culture and the leader must live in the area to have first-hand knowledge of the subjects and the condition therein 2. it is highly justifiable to utilize the Machiavellian principles for critically evaluating the attributes of the candidates and their number of voters garnered.) The Philippine Regional Division Consisting of more than 7500 islands (as updated by the Jose Cabanuyan. Zaide and Zaide state that the Ilocanos from Ilocos region are the most adventurous. the Muslims from the Mindanao region are said to be courageous. send colonies that could shackle the state and take the role as the head and protector of the weak neighbors and to ensure that no foreigner as . the Bicolanos are said to be religious.of National Mapping Resources Information under DENR due to more than 400 newly-discovered islands in the Mindanao Region in 2015). mild-tempered. For instance. II. By formulating a paradigm for the 2016 Election Outcomes. The Bisayans are extravagant. it is admitted that there are various regional traits observed in each region. Last. Thus. the article would be concentrating on the presidential candidates and their geopolitical strategies in winning the votes of each region in the country. Next. the Philippine archipelago has 18 regions including the newlyproclaimed Negros region through Executive Order 183 series of 2015. According to Machiavellian thought. With these regional differences of the Filipino people. In this case. carefree and jolly people since they love luxurious clothes and grand socialization events. Jr. iconoclast and very firm because of their religion. Table 1: Brief Thematic Analysis of the Machiavellian Types of Principality and the Corresponding Actions of a Leader Types of Principalities Actions Performed by a Leader 1.) Principalities with the same -The leader must extinguished the lines of princes of the language and not accustomed to former rulers and maintain the pre-existent condition like freedom avoiding the drastic change of laws for easy transition 3. The concept of having a “strong man” in Philippine governance is not a new phenomenon since the country has been criticized by several political analysts as oligarchic government disguised in constitutional democracy.) Principalities With Different -The Leader must reside in the area so that the citizens would Language have easy access to the leader. The Prince provides some substantial suggestion as to the methods of the leader in conquering the different types of principalities. The following table provides a thematic analysis about the Machiavellian types of principality (focusing on New Principalities acquired through Fortune and Virtu) and the corresponding actions that a leader must exhibit. frugal and hardworking among all Filipinos whereas the Tagalogs who are inhabiting in Manila and nearby provinces have superiority complex to other to save the nation. the candidates must exhibit effective geopolitical strategies to create a strong support system.

special consideration is observed for the 6th classification as it considered in the Philippine setting. the first aim of the article is to classify the Philippines according to Machiavellian types of principalities so that the leader could be now evaluated based on their strategies done in the last elections. Table 2: Characterization of the 2016 Presidential Candidates Based on Machiavellian Thought Attributes The 2016 Presidential Candidates Scale: Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Not Fulfilled Miriam Rodrigo Roa Jejomar Manuel Defensor Duterte Binay Roxas III Grace Poe Llamanzares . 2. this portion of the article consider the primary attributes of the leader provided by Niccolo Machiavelli in his book The Prince in analyzing the political behavior of the five candidates. etc. Tagalogs.powerful as he can enter the area 4. and create situations where the people will be dependent on the prince -The leader must only adhere to the traditions and old beliefs since this principality is sustained by the ancient laws and rooted in religion By providing table 1. Moreover. Adopting the criteria given. it can be inferred that Philippines is a type of principality that fulfilled that characteristics of the 3rd and 5th classification. Bicolanos.) Ecclesiastical Principalities -The leader must gain alliance of all noblemen and acquire enough power before the death of one’s benefactor -The leader must be on guard. it is evident that Philippines is a Christian-dominated country such that the Church can become a spiritual-political institution in intervening the state affair eventhough the Constitution instigate the secularization of church and state. 601.) religious leaders such as in Mindanao area can be also a political leader that could manipulate or if not. Kapampangans. 997 votes. which also have distinct languages. Cebuanos. The characteristics of the 3 rd type of principality (Principalities with different language) is fulfilled by the Philippine nation because it accommodates various ethno-linguistic groups such as the Ilocanos. Cordillerans. Philippines is quite adhering to the characteristic of a ecclesiastical principalities for three fundamental reasons: 1.) some customs in the Philippines are heavily-rooted on religious beliefs that affect our personal orientations and 3.) Principalities that acquired with the arms and fortunes of others (Colonizing states) 5. seek to win the good will of the people. the Philippines also fulfilled the attributes of a civil principality because of Philippine’s democratic form of government in which regular elections are observed upon the mandate of the Constitution since the legitimacy of the ruler lies on the people and lastly. Second. however.) though the Philippines has no state religion. The aim of this section is to provide a critical analysis among the five candidates and not necessarily justified the victory of the current 2016 President Rodrigo Roa Duterte who obtained 16.) The Presidential Candidates The goal of this section is to provide the brief characterization of the 2016 Presidential candidates to link with the Machiavellian characteristics of the Philippines.) Civil Principalities when the private citizen becomes a prince not through prefidy or intolerable violence but thriugh the aid of his fellow citizens 6. reinforce the laws required by their religion. B.

4.) The leader must Fulfilled know how and when to use proper cruelty. 7.) The leader must Fulfilled be prudent to avoid a reputation of vices that will ruin him and his state. 2.) The leader must Fulfilled always strive to retain an appearance of conventional morality for it is essential that the ruler avoid being despised or hated 6.Santiago 1.) The leader Fulfilled demonstrate liberality to all whom he does not tax (masses) but demonstrate miserliness toward all those from whom he withholds largess (few other elites) 5.) The leader must Somewhat adopt the method of Fulfilled the fox (use of fraud or decisiveness) and the lion (use of force).) The leader Somewhat should learn to be Fulfilled other than good making his capacity or refraining from it according to need 3.) The leader must Fulfilled gain esteem by acting as a true ally or true enemy that is by declaring himself openly for Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled Not Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Somewhat Fulfilled Fulfilled Somewhat Fulfilled .

Defensor and Poe for exhibiting prudence and sincerity to the public during the campaign period. and Rodrigo Duterte . Moreover. her political boldness contributed to her popularity as presidential candidate especially to the youth. Poe and Roxas though appeared to have exemplar characteristic in public during debates and provincial campaigns. In fact. All presidential candidates except Poe and Roxas fulfilled these criterion. Candidates Rodrigo Duterte and Miriam Defensor-Santiago showed aggression and firmness in character during the campaign period. Jejomar Binay and Grace Poe. however.) The leader must know how and when to use proper cruelty. For Miriam Santiago. Analysis: 1.) The leader should learn to be other than good making his capacity or refraining from it according to need. In contrary. this was somewhat fulfilled by presidential candidates Mar Roxas. they failed to execute liberality to the mass because their personalities were surrounded by elite such as the Aranetas for Roxas (propagation of business interests of the Aranetas) and San Miguel Corporation (concerning the Coco Levy issue) for Grace Poe. this criterion is slightly fulfilled by candidates Roxas and Binay since these candidates were became controversial as far as corruption issue and Yolanda rescue are concern. Jejomar Binay and Mar Roxas made them not to fully fulfilled this criteria. On the other mild. he bandwagoned the idea that he came from a poor family and this story made him closer to poor masses. Among the candidates. As analyzed. it was undoubtedly that Duterte and Binay fulfilled this character because of their manipulative capacity as observe in their campaign period because both of them can act as manipulative beings in times of rigid situation such as the corruption issue of Jejomar Binay and human right violation issues of Rodrigo Duterte to make themselves still pleasant to the general public. the candidates Defensor-Santiago. though he was accused as an elitist. 3. though Poe and Roxas’ platforms are also centered on the poor.or against one of the two conflicting parties and never maintain neutrality. This criterion was fulfilled by Duterte. However. 2. these two candidates exhibit too much hatred on corruption and drugs most especially Rodrigo Duterte. it can be inferred that mastering this characteristic will create a bandwagon mentality to the public that transform now a leader to be good even if he/she is showing malevolent acts. Candidates DefensorSantiago and Duterte really manifested an non-elitist view of politics. 4. His speeches manifested his aggression and strictness as a future leader of the country but the people are really mesmerized with this behavior indicating that proper cruelty was applied.) The leader demonstrate liberality to all whom he does not tax (masses) but demonstrate miserliness toward all those from whom he withholds largess (few other elites). the mild personality of Grace Poe. have insufficient impact to the public since they portrayed themselves as good and infallible political leaders of the country that they are too good to be a leader and not too bad to be an ordinary people like Duterte. On contrary. this characteristic was fulfilled by three candidates namely Miriam Defensor Santiago. for Binay. However. .) The leader must be prudent to avoid a reputation of vices that will ruin him and his state.

he tried to portrayed an image that is not too distant with a common Filipino in which this probably made him to still have strong grassroot support compared with the other candidates. Election result showed that Rodrigo Dutetre. However. Manuel Roxas had undeniably great political machinery the Liberal Party that made him gathered the second highest number of votes next to Duterte. the seasoned technocrat Manuel “Mar” Roxas.5. Duterte. thus. the first Mindanaoan president-elect in history and a selfdescribed “socialist”. the people have spoken and they have chosen Duterte as the new president of the republic. Davao City’s tough-talking mayor who has been likened to Donald Trump in the United States. hence. garnered a large plurality (38. During the first presidential debate aired in GMA. as far the Filipino masses are concerned. people cannot determine if the sentiments of these candidates are the same as theirs.) The leader must gain esteem by acting as a true ally or true enemy that is by declaring himself openly for or against one of the two conflicting parties and never maintain neutrality.5%) of votes. both candidates Duterte and Defensor-Santiago are fitted to be called as the Prince in Machiavellian politics. however. CONCLUSION: According to the table. Duterte still won the presidency since he know how to get the sentiments of the Filipino public by showing cruelty to the enemies of national interests by having a flabbergasting promise to end crime within 3-6 months and he also showed aggressiveness of a man .) they have clear stand as to who are the enemies of the state (the terrorist groups such as the Abu Sayyaf and drug lords and heinous criminals for Duterte). The health condition of Miriam Defensor-Santiago was a crucial factor that probably divert the attention of some Filipino voters to choose Duterte since they have same political orientation. Duterte’s image as Church nemesis and womanizer brought him to his unpopularity especially in the Catholic Church most especially at times that he criticized the papal visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines. 6. All of the candidates except Duterte seemed to fulfilled this criterion because they present themselves are beholder of Christian values such as generosity. However.) The leader must always strive to retain an appearance of conventional morality for it is essential that the ruler avoid being despised or hated. Among the candidates. However. By comparing them. 7. they appeared to be conventionally moral. However. Binay strongly insisted his decisive style of leadership in which this kind of leadership can make the Philippines into a better nation by making unpredictable moves toward its foreign partners and to have a flexible government programs that would cater the needs of the Filipino people. by a whopping more than 6 million votes to become the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines. Binay and Roxas only advanced their “rehabilitationist policies” for the general citizenry of the country. Duterte and Defensor-Santiago truly fulfilled these criterion because of two reasons: 1. it is undoubtedly that Jejomar Binay has the capacity to fulfill this criterion.) they have too strong nationalistic sentiments opposing the presence of foreign forces in the country such as the USA and they criticized that USA is an abusive state that always harass the country through neo-imperialist strategy and 2. the remaining candidates such as Poe. edged out his closest rival. care for the poor and obedience to the Dominant church.) The leader must adopt the method of the fox (use of fraud or decisiveness) and the lion (use of force).

Jet . Duterte must be advised to be more fraudulent as the fox especially in establishing relationships among other public officials such as the officials of Liberal party since this political party still dominated the legislative branch of the government. Sonia (2008). Executive Order No. 6th Edition. including the outgoing president Benigno Aquino. Jonathan (2010). vol 1. 2016 from www. Without a doubt. As utilizing Machiavellian politics. he must show decisiveness and proper manifestation of cruelty most especially to the enemies of the society. 2016 from www.To effectively govern the country. it is highly recommended that Duterte’s presidency must consider the nature of the Philippines as multicultural Official Gazette. hence. (2016). Richard. 183 series 2015. (2016) Zaide. Philippine History and Government. Retrieved November Rappler Group (2016).rappler. Niccolo Machiavelli: The Prince. Duterte as the Prince should not need to return loyalty with loyalty as in the case in military (national police) and other government agencies in relation to the elimination of tremendous presence of narco-politics but he needs to owe his subjects by showing dedication to the mass and show firm behavior by utilizing his loyal troops. With this. shunning radical moves in both domestic and foreign policy realms showing firmness. Rex Publishing. COMELEC Releases Official List of Candidates. Michael. (2008).gov. Retrieved on November 27. everyone can be his friends or enemies. Retrieved from www. First Harper Perennial Modern Classics. Meet The Presidential Villa. The Great Political Theories. (2016). Duterte’s image of being feared rather than being loved can be quite effective in his hegemonic leadership style. However. Quezon City S School ofBaguio Teacher’s City. Duterte has to lead the majority of Filipinos behind him by displaying non-mainstream political pragmatism and moderation. which could provoke his legions of critics. Education Philippines and2600 Liberal Arts . Now. Gregorio & decisiveness and political leadership by opposing the failures of the Aquino administration and the futility of Mar Roxas as former DILG secretary in combating crimes and drugs in the country. Philippines Election: Why Fatigued Voters Yearn for Strong Man Leader. Portable Display File Curtis. New York City Heydarian. Retrieved on November 27. 2016 from www. the Philippines has really entered a new period of hope under the so-called new Prince of the Republic who is expected to show bravery as well as nobility in governance! References Bennett.