Duterte: I won’t be a dictator


PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Wednesday he won’t become a dictator amid international criticism of his war on illegal drugs that has left at least 1,900 suspects dead.

“Welcome to your country…and help me. I don’t plan to be a dictator. I am a lawyer, my mother is a Yellow Friday leader in Davao,” Duterte said in a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after welcoming overseas Filipino workers repatriated from Saudi Arabia.

He was referring to a group that supported the presidential bid of Corazon Aquino against the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted by the 1986 “People Power” revolt.

“They said I would be like Marcos. Far from it. I am just doing my duty. Otherwise, I will compromise the next generation. That includes your children and grandchildren. We will have a failed country,” Duterte said.

“I don’t care if I turn out to be wrong, as long as I am sure of the Filipinos’ welfare,” he added.

The President again shrugged off the criticisms from the United Nations and other human rights groups of his anti-drug campaign, saying he was simply exercising political will that his predecessors were unable to do.

“I will clean this country [of drugs]… this is not to brag … but nobody is capable of doing these things except me. I started this and I will end this. If I end up in prison, then visit me in [Muntinlupa]. Bring drugs,” the President said in jest, alluding to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

The President then reiterated that people involved in drugs won’t get a free pass just because they are poor.

“You can’t say, spare me because I am poor. The law does not provide for that. Everybody fights back when they are high on drugs. If you had taken drugs, you would know I am right,” Duterte said.

“We do not enjoy killing people. I do not enjoy this war. I hate to sign documents that would procure things that would just kill or maim citizens. This is not the game I want to play. I prefer a different enemy. Not a fellow Filipino,” he said.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. With all those criticisms he’s getting (left and right) and he’s successful in forging peace from MILF, MNLF and the Communists party, maybe declare a revolutionary government to get rid of “rampant” corruption and criminality. Filipinos (from all sectors) should be disciplined.

  2. Finally. Someone with the will to actually fix the problems of the Philippines. Of which, as we all know, are many. Not like other politicians wolrdwide who promise everything until elected, then either ignore or make problems even worse. He is not politically correct or diplomatic, which invites criticism from foreign governments and media. Who cares, most foreign citizens, myself included, approve of his methods, at least many, like myself, who actually live here. We know thw the crime, corruption, and incompetence that has plagued this country. Duterte is apparently the man who is willing to care enough to attempt to make the Philippines the paradise it should be.