DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte takes the disqualification cases against him, and other issues confronting his candidacy, as a challenge.
“It is giving me more strength,” said the tough-talking mayor on Monday, December 28. “[It’s a] challenge in the sense that … who would enjoy being defeated? But since I am here already, I am presenting myself with all my faults, with all my shortcomings, faults – marami ako (I have many).”
He added: “I have little successes as mayor of Davao City, but para sa akin (for me), take me for what I am and if you think I can hack it, go ahead, elect me. If not, the judgment is yours.”
Duterte is facing 3 disqualification cases filed separately by broadcaster Ruben Castor, disqualified presidential aspirant Rizalito David, and University of the Philippines Diliman student council leader JP Delas Nieves.
“That’s the essence of democracy. You cannot stop a Filipino, it is their Constitutional right [to file a case],” the mayor said. “Although some are saying people inspired people to file charges against presidential frontrunners, I still believe that at the end of the day, the thinking Filipino voter and the Filipino masses know what is right and what is good for the country.”
In the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Tuesday, December 22, Duterte climbed 7 percentage points to share second place with Senator Grace Poe.
But the Davao City mayor is behind Poe, opposition bet Vice President Jejomar Binay, and administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey.
“Survey results are there to guide candidates what to do,” Duterte said. “For me, I am challenged and honored to face disqualification cases and to be included in the different surveys.”
Known for peppering his speeches with expletives, the Davao City mayor also drew flak recently for cursing Pope Francis.
“I have presented myself to the public, it is up to them to take me for what I am,” Duterte said. “On election day, the best judgment comes from the sovereign voters.” – Rappler.com