Supporters rejoice as Duterte presidential race goes ahead
MANILA, Philippines – The verdict is in – Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte can run for president.
Many, like Marco Villanueva, replied to MovePH's question on Twitter that this decision was a long time time coming.
@MovePH Finally! It should have been junked a long time ago.— Marco villanueva (@Marcovi49875810)February 3, 2016
The dismissal of the disqualification case also fueled excitement among Duterte's supporters who expressed their eagerness to campaign for the Davao mayor.
John Raul Joven II commented on Rappler's story: "Now that all lights are green for Duterte, I will now campaign more extensively as well. Never been so excited about Philippine elections!"
This echoes Duterte when he said he would also campaign extensively.
They also look forward to the debates, saying Duterte's participation will make debates more interesting.
"Now I can't wait for Roxas being roasted in a debate sponsored by COMELEC," commented Jeff Durango on a Rappler Facebook callout.
In December 2015, Duterte responded to opponent Mar Roxas' debate challenge, saying, "debate with a liar and tail-ender." However, after the announcement, he declared he "will attend all the debates and forums everywhere."
One group that does have issues with Duterte is the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
Duterte’s earlier comment about doubters of his ability to end crime caused some members of the LGBT community to chide him and his defenders online.
In response to criticism that ending crime in 6 months was impossible, Duterte called naysayers “bayot,” another term for gay. He also added that people doubting him lacked political will.
Stop defending Duterte about using the word "gay" as an insult. He's clearly using his "support for LGBT people" as a campaign tactic.— claudine (@stephjaurigue) February 3, 2016
This earned him responses from LGBT group PinoyG4M and Jeff Crisostomo, who called himself a "bayot working for change within government":
Duterte earlier said the LGBT community must be respected and expressed his openness to legislation legalizing same-sex marriage.
He has been one of the more polarizing candidates during the elections because of statements on human rights and law enforcement. – Rappler.com