Since last year, rumors about our Mayor, Rody Duterte, running for president, have been going around. Several people see it as a mere publicity stunt; others were declared “overly fanatic” for endorsing him in the national office. As of this writing, there’s already a “Duterte for President” movement setting their anchors in key cities of the country.
Just last week, a news story went around the social media indicating that Duterte’s lawyer, Salvador Panelo, stated that the former will be running for president and that Duterte will announce his plans “in a proper time”. I found this strange. Earlier this year, Duterte said he doesn’t want the position, and his stance was consistent. A few days ago, news also surfaced that Duterte contradicted Panelo and wants to put an end to the issue.
I know that politics is always messier than goat’s poo and that a lot of politicians will have different ways to sway the public but of course, just like any other die-hard Filipino (and Dabawenya!) this got me thinking. What if, Duterte actually runs for president?
For one, I think he has a strong chance in winning it. More than half of the country relates to Duterte because he speaks Cebuano and has that “masa” appeal. So that’s majority of Visayas and Mindanao. Let’s not forget the people in Luzon who also support him and his hardline stance against criminals and drug abuse. Every parent fears for the safety of their child when they leave their homes. Everyone who is not a drug addict or a drug user deplores the effects of these illegal substances, not just in our bodies, but also in how it disrupts the peace of a community. Duterte is also known to abhor rapists, so that’s always a plus for the vote of the female population and every decent guy out there, and those who have daughters. Of course these thoughts are simple hunches at the top of my head. I am no high-end socio-political analyst. But I read enough and listen enough to know that if Duterte runs for president, he has my full support.
Duterte has been in hot water a lot of times due to his open thoughts about supporting vigilantism, threats to kill smugglers and “possible administrative and criminal liability for his inaction” in the face of numerous extrajudicial killings in Davao city. He was also called out several times by the Commission of Human Rights because of these but he seems unfazed by their actions against him. Despite these aforementioned “misgivings”, I still support Duterte and I’d take these any day over some overly corrupt politician who did nothing to curb crime, pollution, and accidents in their city.
I look around my city and always think: what if the entire country was like this? Fresh air, clean surroundings, tolerable traffic, very low crime rate, smoke-free, et cetera. If you’re not from Davao, look around your city. What do you think?
Here are a few of Duterte’s notable moments: