2016 run? 'Give me time to talk to family' – Duterte
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – More than 3,000 vehicles coming from different parts of the country converged here in the city on Friday, August 28, for one mission: to convince the city mayor, Rodrigo Duterte, to run for president.
Colorful streamers and banners bearing the face and name of the tough-talking mayor covered the city's Rizal Park where about 10,000 people gathered, including incumbent politicians from different areas and retired police and military officials.
But is he running?
"Just give me some time to talk to my family," Duterte said after he appeared at the end of the rally.
Duterte shared that he is considering the demands for him to take a shot at the presidency but he has 3 concerns: his family who does not want him to run, his lack of financial resources, and his age. The mayor is 70 years old.
"Ang anak ko na si Inday galit na sa akin. Ang nanay niya sabi huwag. Si Inday ang pinakamaingay. Konting panahon lang. Kakausapin ko sila (My daughter Inday is angry at me. Their mother says no. Inday is the noisiest. Give me more time. I'll talk to them)," Duterte said.
"If Inday will still say no, then I will drag her here. She will be the one who will run for president so that she will punch all of you," Duterte jokingly added.
Sara "Inday" Duterte was the mayor of Davao from 2010 to 2013 while her father was her vice mayor. In 2011, Sara became famous for punching a court sheriff who executed a demolition order despite her appeals for it to be postponed because she did not want any violence to erupt in the area.
Duterte, however, said that his children, including incumbent Vice Mayor Paolo, might change their minds once they see the swarm of people gathered in the city just to ask him to run.
"Kapag nakita ito ng mga anak ko baka magbago ang isip nila (If my children see this, they might change their minds). They might be here watching somewhere," Duterte said.
Is the Philippines ready?
The mayor, who earned the monicker "The Punisher" after the comic book character who executes vigilante justice, said that he is also worried about the consequences if he will be given the power of the country's chief executive.
There will be no corruption cases filed against him, Duterte said, but he will be swamped by murder charges, especially since he is being accused of being the brain behind the so-called Davao Death Squad that kills people allegedly involved with the illegal drug trade.
"I said before that I will turn Davao into a peaceful city. Along the way many died and they will use that issue against me. De Lima said I killed 1,000 people. Pagkabarat naman ng babaeng yan. 22 years ako nakaupo dyan tapos 1,000 lang ang aking pinatay? Cheap naman yan (She's cutting me short. I sat here for 22 year and she says I killed only 1,000? That's cheap)," Duterte said.
But he quickly shifted his tone explaining that running a country with iron discipline would not require killings because the problem is the system.
"The problem of the Philippines cannot be solved just by killing people. That is not the way how democracy operates," Duterte said.
Duterte said the country's presidents became useless not because of the persons but because of a "failed" and limiting system of government.
For years, Duterte has been campaigning for a shift in government system from the present to a federal system so that the regions and local governments can have stronger political power and the right to maximize local resources.
"You will put me into office so that I can prolong your agony? That is what happened since the time of Erap until now. You must understand that it is not the person, but it is the Office of the President that is inutile. I do not want to sit in an inutile office," Duterte said.
If I were president...
Duterte then talked about his dreams for the country, including the transformation of government agencies riddled with allegations of corruption – the Bureau of Customs, Government Service Insurance System and the Bureau of Internal Revenue. He said he wants to turn them over to private financial institutions.
He added that he would be very strict in enforcing discipline among the police and the military. "I will be very strict at yung mga generals na may atraso puwede ba mag-retire na kayo (and the generals who did wrong can opt to retire early)," Duterte said.
Duterte explained that the security sector should not be worried by his proclamations that his political belief is Left and that he has friends within the underground communist movement.
"From the start, I told you I am Left. But it is the armed struggle which I will not support," Duterte said.
He then showed a video of Communist Party of the Philippines founding chairman Jose Maria Sison who sent it to publicly endorse Duterte.
"Convinced ako na makabayan siya (I'm convinced that he's loyal to the country) and he will defend the integrity of Philippines," Sison said.
Duterte said that he will use his influence over the two parties so that peace can be achieved without any further escalation of violence.
Both parties can instead focus in the campaign against drug lords and in defending the territory of the Philippines, most particularly the disputed West Philippine Sea.
At the end of the rally, Duterte said he may act tough but right now he is asking for the people's understanding and respect as this decision would require a consensus within his family.
"Basta pagdating ng panahon walang sisihan. Yang mga hindi taga-rito siguraduhin niyo lang na manalo ako. Baka mas mauna pa kayo sa drug lords (When the time comes, don't come running, crying to me. If you're here, you better make sure I win or maybe you'll die ahead of the drug lords)," Duterte jokingly said. – Rappler.com
Who won in the 2016 Philippine elections?
Check out the 2016 official election results through the link below:
- 2016 official election results for Presidential, Vice Presidential, Senatorial, and Party list elections
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- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Vice Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Senatorial Elections
- 2016 Philippine Congressional Elections
- 2016 Party List Elections
- 2016 Philippine Local Elections