Former President Fidel V. Ramos, had already made headlines a few days ago when he continuously criticized the words and decisions of President Rodrigo Duterte. This time, FVR publicized his list of unsolicited advice for the president about exercising power.
FVR declared he once gave unsolicited advice to former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and he will do the same for President Duterte.
The former president, who was dubbed the “Centennial President” during his administration, based his advice on Robert Green’s book, Laws of Power. In his column, FVR asked “Shall we take it or leave it?” as he laid down his advice for Duterte, which was up to him whether to take or ignore.
1.) “Always say less than necessary.”
- FVR mentioned that President Duterte is affected by the prominent problems that our country and the world are facing. However, he mentioned that it does not justify his use of colorful language. FVR said that Duterte’s controversial statements in his speeches show a lack of control. The former president insisted “If you can’t say anything nice, shut up!”
2.) “Win through your actions, never through arguments.”
- FVR said that it would be better if Duterte got people to agree with him through his actions and not his words. He even said, “Demonstrate, do not explicate.”
3.) “A fortress seems to be the safest. But isolation exposes you to more dangers than it protects you from – it cuts you off from valuable information.”
- FVR used this to criticize Duterte’s foreign policy decisions and his tendency to polarize people.
FVR’s list of advice for President Duterte also includes the following:
“Keep your hands clean. You must seem like a paragon of efficiency and civility. Your hands should never be spoiled by mistakes and nasty deeds.”
“Plan all the way to the end. The ending is everything. Plan all the way to it, taking into account all possible consequences, obstacles and twists of fortune that might reverse your hard work and give the glory to others.”
“Despise the free lunch.” Alluding to the many offers of help by China in building our economy, infrastructure, tourism and trade, among others.
The former president emphasized that whatever Pres. Duterte is taking for free now is a debt that must be paid in the future.
“What is offered for free is dangerous – it usually involves either a trick or a hidden obligation. What has worth is worth paying for.”
Apart from these pieces of advice for the President, FVR also gave unsolicited advice for the members of the current administration’s cabinet.