Is Rody Duterte your president? Make sure you already know everything you need to know about him before putting in that precious vote on the 9th of May.
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte hasn’t been your usual presidentiable since day one; in fact, he was so adamant about not running, even after the deadline of filing for certificates of candidacy. But after a sterling political stint in Davao City, even bringing the city to global database Numbeo’s number two spot in its top 10 safest cities in Southeast Asia, everyone clamored for Mayor Digong to try his iron hand over a bigger jurisdiction. In his 22 years as mayor of Davao City, Duterte was able to set up an efficient 24/7 crime and emergency call center, significantly lower the crime rate to 0.8 cases per 10,000 people, and strengthen public safety via the effective implementation of an alcohol curfew, speed limit, firecracker ban, and smoking regulations. He is also responsible for the creation of the Children’s Welfare Code of 1995, a first in the country, which helps empower children aged 1-17 against any form of abuse. With his plans to create a federal government and become a rather bloodstained dictator when he wins, a lot of people are convinced that Duterte will be able to replicate the order he has created in Davao City on a national scale.
Alongside the many praises for Duterte, though, he has his share of criticisms. Duterte has constantly been criticized by human rights groups for tolerating—and even vocally encouraging—extrajudicial killings. In 2015, Duterte admitted his links to the notorious Davao Death Squad, and warned that the numbers would rise when he becomes president. He has also been slammed for his foul language, regardless of context and crowd, and for his uninhibited attitude towards women. Recently, he has been involved in controversies about hidden wealth and unwarranted gifts from a religious man-cum-businessman.
Behind his overwhelming attitude, interestingly, he had his share of bullying and prejudice in law school—but he was a Duterte; he knew exactly how to battle smart mouths with smarter fists. He served as city prosecutor for 10 years before entering the political scene. Shortly after the fall of the Marcos Regime, in 1988, Duterte became the mayor of Davao City—and he has never lost an election since.
Read the profiles of the five presidentiables and the full Q&A with them inside Asian Dragon Magazine’s April-May 2016 issue, available in all leading bookstores and convenience stores nationwide. You can also purchase the issue from the Asian Dragon Magazine App, free to download on Google Play Store, iTunes, and Amazon. For orders and other inquiries, contact tel. nos. 361-7491 loc. 811, 845, 846.