New Duterte ads depict him as protector of children

Pia Ranada
New Duterte ads depict him as protector of children
'Sa kanila nanggagaling ang tapang ko,' says Rodrigo Duterte about street children in his latest political ads

MANILA, Philippines – Children will be among the first to benefit from a Rodrigo Duterte presidency, so say two new political advertisements for the Mindanaoan candidate. 

Both around 30 seconds long, the two ads show a video montage of street children. Like in his previous ads, Duterte is shown sparingly. But it’s his voice reading the script.

Sobra na ang gulo ng ating bansa. Ang naiipit sa gulo ang mga bata. Awang-awa na ako sa kanila. Dumaranas ng sobrang kahirapan – namumulat sa mundo ng karahasan, droga, at korupsyon,” he says in one of the ads.

(The mess in our country is too much. It’s the children who get trapped in the mess. I pity them. They experience so much hardship, growing up in a world of violence, drugs, and corruption.)

This ad is expected to air on national television on Monday, March 21.

After talking about the plight of children, Duterte asserts that his political will can save their future. 

Matapang na pangulo ang kailangan. Kung ang gobyerno walang tapang protektahan sila, ipaglalaban ko ang mga batang ninanakawan ng kinabukasan,” he says.

(A fearless president is necessary. If the government does not have the guts to protect them, I will fight for the children whose future are being stolen.)

Another voice wraps up the ad with Duterte’s motto: “Tapang at malasakit. Tama si Duterte (Fearlessness and compassion. Duterte is right).”

The second ad, featuring children from the House of Hope, a shelter for poor children with cancer in Davao City, will not be shown on television due to a lack of funds, said Duterte’s media team.

In this ad, Duterte also laments the sad condition of the children who grow up in a world of “drugs and violence.”

He then asserts, “Sa kanila nanggagaling ang tapang ko (They are the source of my fearlessness).”

The ad also ends with the branding, “Tapang at malasakit (fearlessness and compassion).”

These ads were paid for using Duterte’s campaign funds unlike previous ads that were paid for by supporters.

Just like the previously released ad shining the spotlight on Duterte’s achievements as Davao City mayor, these two new ads highlight the “protector” in Duterte instead of “The Punisher.”

Duterte has earned the moniker for his tough stance on criminality and corruption, one that has given him both ardent supporters and fierce critics. 

His brazen remarks about killing criminals has led government officials and human rights groups to look into his involvement in extrajudicial killings of criminals in Davao City.

But Duterte has denied this, saying he only ordered the shooting of criminals who resisted law enforcers. 

His supporters are quick to point out that Duterte’s no-nonsense approach to crime ultimately protects law-abiding citizens. –

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at