Duterte is shocking and vulgar. So what?


Before anything else, let’s be clear what this article is about. It’s not a defense of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s shocking, vulgar talk on the hustings, most especially not his uncivilized remarks about the hostage-taking, rape and murder of an Australian missionary during the 1989 Davao prison riot.

He claimed that the original words he mouthed expressed his disgust toward the rioters, not any lurid intent toward the dead woman. Yet it was still unsavory to hear, and even more despicable amid the laughter and catcalls of Duterte supporters.

The survey-leading presidentiable should never have made those thoughts public, just as Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump should have kept to himself his TV quip about Ivana Trump’s beauty, saying if she weren’t his daughter, maybe he ought to date her. Both candidates should learn to be circumspect about public pronouncements if they wish to be verbally fit for the presidency.

Why his supporters stay loyal
That said, Duterte’s shocking, vulgar style will probably not derail from his candidacy, and may even boost it. Rivals who expect to grab votes from Duterte due to his gutter talk should remember that he rose to top of the polls despite or even due to his self-confessed rough style. He and Trump clearly appeal to segments of society who care little for educated breeding and political correctness.

Will the 32 percent of Pulse Asia-surveyed voters, who prefer the crime-busting Mindanaoan even after he bad-mouthed the beloved Pope Francis, change their minds over his 1989 Davao prison riot remarks?

Catholic archbishops lambasted Duterte over his traffic-provoked son-of-a-bitch bark at the Holy Father, with little effect on his growing support. Their disgust over his line about getting ahead of the rapist-killers may not do much damage, either.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines President Archbishop Socrates Villegas lamented Duterte supporters’ laughter over the papal curse, and the CBCP head probably feels the same over the campaign crowd chuckling at the candidate’s mayor-first punch line.

Rather than delight in uncouth ways, however, what makes most pro-Duterte voters hold fast are the benefits they hope for under his rule, particularly the protection against crime and corruption he offers.

After all, would voters fearful of crooks on the street and in the government set aside their chosen defender just because of his foul mouth and open womanizing? Maybe not.

Only if the mayor’s fearless and uncompromising enforcer image cracks would he lose support, as may happen if, say, close associates are found to be dealing in drugs.

With no massive campaign fund and network backing him, Duterte’s reputation for cleaning up crime and graft is the main reason one in every three surveyed voters picks him. His rivals let him corral the anti-crime message, saying little about lawlessness until his recent surge forced erstwhile topnotcher Sen. Grace Poe to belatedly talk about fighting crime.

It may be too late to break Duterte’s monopoly on the anti-lawlessness message, and other candidates may not be credible if they take it up. And that hammerlock on the crime issue can give the Mindanaoan a mammoth chunk of the electorate.

As expounded in the April 12 and 14 columns last week <http://www.manilatimes.net/how-to-slash-crime-in-six-months/255547/ and http://www.manilatimes.net/strategies-to-slash-crime-in-six-months/255929/>, there have been more than 3 million crimes committed since 2013, based on official statistics.

Assuming every crime has two victims on average, and each victim has five family and friends, that’s more than 35 million Filipinos who suffered from lawlessness or are close to someone who did.

Add many millions more with drug-addicted kith and kin, or burdened by Aquino-era anomalies, like travelers fearing laglag-bala and commuters bearing with Metro Rail Transit scams. Plus tens of millions seeing crime and corruption on mass and social media daily.

For those hordes of voters, only Duterte has made the pledge and shown the zeal and teeth to fight the lawlessness scourge.

Would that tsunami of crime-and-graft-spooked Filipinos seeking protection vanish because Duterte said in anger or jest that he should have been ahead of prison rioters who raped and killed the Australian lady?

It was a terrible thing to say, and no President or presidentiable should talk that way. But even if most Filipinos actually saw, heard or read about the ugly remarks (a huge number didn’t), it won’t sway people desperate to hide behind the Davaoeño’s shield.

Why Duterte must mind his mouth
Still, Mayor Duterte should learn to watch his mouth, especially if he becomes Chief Executive. Circumspection in word and action is an indispensable competency for national leaders, and it is not only irresponsible, but also dangerous for any President to just speak and do as he feels or wishes.

At the second presidential debate last month, Duterte asked Poe what she would do as commander-in-chief if she was awakened in the wee hours with news that China had sunk two Philippine coast guard vessels.

Poe was slow to answer. But a fast-talking leader could have done immensely worse. In a fit of rage not unlike what Duterte felt upon seeing the 1989 riot victims’ bodies, an intemperate President might have ordered the Chinese Embassy strafed or bombed, even leading the assault with his Uzi blazing – with disastrous consequences.

So, Mayor Duterte, please learn to keep your tongue and trigger finger in check. If you become President, your word is national policy and executive command, even if you are just angry or flippant and don’t really mean what you say.

Don’t be like Henry II. The 12th century English king deeply regretted his fuming retort, “Will no one rid me of this troublesome priest?” It spurred his knights to assassinate his friend-turned-critic, Archbishop of Canterbury St. Thomas a Becket, the highest Church leader in England.

An unbridled tongue might not stop you from winning the presidency, Mr. Mayor. But it would certainly sink you and the nation if you become Mr. President. No kidding.


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  1. Filipinos are desperate of crimes and corruptions…Du30 offers the blood of this criminals and corruptors…Filipinos lust for their blood

  2. This is addressed to the writer.


    I am a Duterte supporter from the ABC segment of Philippine society, and I am not blind to my candidate’s flaws.

    I would highly recommend you to take part in Duterte’s PR team when he becomes president, to polish his rough edges, and make him shine as our own Lee Kuan Yew.

  3. Mr. Saludo, if you’re so concerned about proper decorum and immaculate-white decency which Duterte needs to project in case he wins the presidency and resides in Malacanang . . . . CUT THE CRAP!

    Crassness and vulgarity will certainly NOT SINK HIM, NOR THE NATION.

    His passion to serve the Filipino people and his dogged determination to STOP GRAFT AND CORRUPTION AND ALL SORTS OF CRIMINALITY, will definitely buoy up a nation filled up with disgruntled, demoralized and angry citizens who are tired of the present resident of Malacanang, it’s cohorts and it’s incompetent minions.

    The US White House wasn’t without it’s share of residents who have done immoral acts within its confines: JFK and Clinton were just a few. And yet, they were still able to stir USA towards greatness.

    Besides, Duterte swears and flashes his middle finger out of sheer aghast and frustration with the callousness and ineptitude of the present dispensation, and not because he whims it.

    I know him better (up close and personal) than you do, because I am a Dabawenyo.


  4. Sir, another well-written article! I have never admired you before, but now, 2 GREAT articles in a row! S A L U D O po talaga ako sayo!

  5. dudirty is old and nearing sinility. he is also liar and an impostor. delinitely he has a troubled mind. his followers are blind rats.

  6. I would say a principled choice can never be swayed by what has been said but rather by what has been done. Words alone cannot be harmful unless it is carried out to actual deed. The only aspect here being transgressed is the sensitivity of the women to the reality that Asia are still predominantly a society of men.

  7. “Son of a bitch, what a waste. I was thinking that they raped her and lined up. I was angry because she was raped. That’s one thing. But she was so beautiful.”
    “anguish and pain they cause. The trauma that can’t be erased. I have witnessed these myself numerous times,” he said….
    INDAY made a mistake in admitting in public what has happened to her. She must now take precautions. He is now thinking who could have done that to his most favorite and she will be forced to confess otherwise she will take the brunt of his anger…. The likes of him will not let this pass.This is the Filipino culture and so it is in another far away land. . But she has her own gun anyway… May God protect her, the drama queen..
    But wait.. he called her Drama Queen… This is a good sign for everyone.. Meaning he is not minding what INDAY said for now.. and he is cool meaning he mellowed. I hope that will be even after the election win or loose.

    But again wait… If we wins, let’s hope he will not call Drama Queen to whom rape was done.

  8. armando astudillo on

    PAGING Women Against Duterte, led by Ana Marie Nemenzo of WomanHealth Philippines, Jean Enriquez of the World March of Women, Judy Pasimio of Katutubong Lilak, and Josua Mata of SENTRO: Your lament reaches out to the heavens but are you not just politically motivated? I hope you are not hypocrites.

    There really are a lot of HYPOCRITES in this world, including me, scouring every word uttered by one person, but keep a blind eye to the 24/7 porn videos all over the internet, doing nothing to alleviate the plight of women selling their bodies in order to survive. A lot of decent, prim-and-proper women, even nuns, are portrayed as wild and maniacal when it comes to their hidden lust for sex despite their seemingly virginal-and-perfect persona, so to speak. I hope that all of those who sensationalize, out of proportions, a very passing, seconds-long comment, band together and eradicate prostitution by assisting our poor women of the night. I hope they spearhead a natonwide campaign against PORN SITES ON THE INTERNET THAT ARE REALLY THE WORST IN DESTROYING THE IMAGE OF WOMEN. But what have all these moralistic organizations done, do they even lift a finger? In reality, civility, being not bastos, being prim and proper, decent, good manners and right conduct are the ways of the devil and are the traits of the rapists, criminals, and the corrupt –the hypocrites– either to appear walang-bahid and attract and victimize unsuspecting innocent people or just simply to fakely project an image. For some, it is a way of saying, “HEY, I AM (WE ARE) MORAL, and I am (are) not like him (them) who is (are) immoral.” DO SOMETHING if you are really for the womens’ cause.

  9. armando astudillo on

    Ang kabulgaran ni Duterte ay sa salita lamang at hindi sa gawa. And iba diyan mga magnanakaw, mga sinungaling, mga nagbabanal-banalan, mga prim at proper na may good manners at right conduct pero pero sarili lamang ang isiisip>>eto ang tunay na mga bulgar sa lipunan!

  10. lets not be hypocrites, all of us have vulgar minds , especially during miss universe beauty pageants, the problem is 101% of us don’t speak whats on our minds …. are we not like sepulchers, all white and neat outside, but rotten inside ….

  11. armando astudillo on

    Eh ano ngayon kung bastos..Kesa naman sa hind bastos pero hindi tayo kayang protektahan laban sa krimen at droga, hind kayang sugpuin and korupsiyon, hindi kayang itigil ang rebelyon, at puro presscons, press releases at speeches lang nang walang tigil sa kai-Ingis. Duterte is the man!!!

  12. Problem is, Filipinos judged duterte based on what he says, d pa nga nya ginagawa, masama na agad turing natin sa kanya. His thug-like tongue must have struck a chord to conservatives and holier-than-thou masses. Why not see through his actions within 20 years as mayor. The fact that he can draw crowds of people from different walks of life is a living proof he had acquired a unique grade of empathy to his fellow countrymen.

  13. Dear Mr. Saludo,

    Many thanks for this very biased article, you should dumped this piece of toilet paper as well.


  14. I agree with you Mr. Saludo, now Mr. Duterte should change they way he acts especially now I am for sure he will be our next President. But he is a good person. I only met him ones When I was in Davao during the reigned of his mother. Although I met him ones, I could notice he is a very good person. One time I bought chicken barbecue at San Pedro. The Lady said she had no change for 100.00 and at my back someone told to the Lady how much was it? I even don’t know the person but offered to pay for what I bought. Later he introduced himself to me that he is the son of Mrs Soling Duterte one of the government official in Davao City. It’s been long time ago until I heard his name again as a candidate for President. Here in Canada he is very popular among the candidates. We need a person like Mr. Duterte. MABUHAY

  15. Ang Pilipinas ay nahahati sa iba’t ibang tribo at kultura. Ako ay taga-Luzon at napadpad at naghanap buhay dito sa Mindanao at marami ang naging kaibigan ko dito, lalo na ang Bisaya. Si Mayor Digong ay laking Davao, at Bisaya din ang karamihan sa mga residente.

    Alam niyo ba dito sa Mindanao, pag-dalawang magkaibigan magkita: ang greeting nila, “Bay maayo kay buhi ka pa! Abi nako dugay ka na patay!” Sa Tagalog pa, ” Pare mabuti at buhay ka pa! Akala ko matagal ka ng patay!” Hindi masama ang mga salita na ito, sa kanila. Tanggap sa kultura nila.

    Isa pa kultura ng taga-Mindanao ay Muslim. Kahit anong tribo (Tao-Sug ng Sulu, Maranao ng Lanao, Maguindanao at taga-Davao, etc…) isa lang ang greeting nila,
    “Salam”. Huwag mong sabihin gaya ng mga Bisaya, baka gulo ang mangyari.

    Normal na ang mga kataga ni DUTERTE dito sa Mindanao. Wala masama doon.

    Still, we are for DUTERTE, ang PAG-ASA NG BAYAN!

  16. Something doesn’t add up. Duterte’s formula for crime busting is in itself a crime. The families of victims of summary killings will definitely not agree with mr. Saludo’s math.

  17. Teddy Sevilla on

    Dun sa mga nagdududa na kay Duterte, lipat na kayo! Huwag padadala sa Duterte bandwagon na sinasabi ni Saludo. Hindi totoo yon; nalalagasan na ang hanay nila. Yung mga disenteng maka-Duterte ay kumakalas na ngayon sa tren niya na patungong China.

    Kung naniniwala talaga kayo na hindi matatalo si Duterte, pero sa tingin niyo ay hindi siya karapat-dapat, huwag pa ring iboto. Kung manalo man siya, malinis ang konsyensya niyo na hindi kayo naging sanhi sa kaguluhang idudulot niya.

    RORO po ako. Hindi ganun kalinis, pero sino ba ang hindi madumi?

    Buti na lang at mahigpit ang moderator dito sa MT. Sa ibang pahayagan, santambak ng mura at insulto aabutin ko.

  18. You’ll be surprise that most of the supporters just like most OFW in the Middle east rode in a bandwagon not knowing fully well Duterte’s dark side character and problem he may face in the international arena. This will change dramatically during the election. By telling the US and Australian diplomats to shut up and not to meddle on Duterte’s bad remarks about the women that was rape is the fastest way for him to lose our closest allies. This also exposes him for being close to the communist any group against the government. Not even Marcos has stop US from meddling on his government at the time. It’s important that our leader is wise or smart and maintain calmness and simpleness especially in this perilous times. I believe there are more pressure now on Duterte’s supporters to distance themselves from this egoistic and double minded person to look for better option for the good of our country.

  19. Thank you Mr. Saludo! Saludo ako! Kudos! Bravo! Congratulations! The article dares one to think roguish, and I like it.

  20. This is an excellent advice to the incoming President. I wish that he will heed this advice for his own good because once he becomes president he is no longer representing Davao only but the entire nation, the Philippines. I wish him the best of luck and good health.

  21. Now, I decided whom to vote. Change is a must – we need tough and decisive leadership!

  22. pedro somoroy on

    i will still go for duterte. why is it if tagalogs eat “hindot and putang ina” nobody cares but when bisayans imitate the tagalog, everyone is so mad? we are fed up with your kind of virtues, i do not imply that we are moving away but we might require you guys a visa to visit our parts of the islands.

    • Amnata Pundit on

      Huwag mong ipasok yang Bisaya vs Tagalog, lalong gumugulo ang usapan. The forces that want to divide us will exploit all fault lines including religious, gender, ethnic, but especially the ethnic. Huwag tayong pagamit sa mga forces na yan.

    • Daniel B. Laurente on

      i like this comment…ohh what a comment…but Mr/ Saludo was just probably joking like Digong. Ingon pa sa Bisaya ” bugalbugalon”. Hibalo ka ana kay bisaya man ka Me Saludo.

  23. There are 2 type of Duterte supporters. First, the hard core supporters who does not care if Duterte is doing bad things and secondly , the sort core Dutertes supporters that are mesmerized with the tough guy attitudes. The group that is affected is the soft core supporters knowing that they are up porting the wrong person. The weakling attitude of Pnoy drove them to Duterte but now they are changing their minds. Let us wait till election time because I have some doubts on the sampling methods of Pulse Asia. I have studied Statistics too and it is not science but a hit and miss procedure. Even in US, during Obama election, the survey said Obama will lose but Obama won by large margin. The survey was made by a very reputable survey company.

    • Nap U. Cabisio on

      Yes, I agree with you. Like others, I am also a professional statician. The recent survey of Pulse Asia telling us that Duterte leads by wide margin over Grace, the second ranking presidential of choice, will never make a miss. It is a ‘hit’ that the result of the 2016 election will tell us soon.

  24. Mr. Ricardo Saludo speaks with more sense and fairness in addressing a small matter which the opponents of Rudy have blown out of proportion. Mr Saludo knows that it is not a reason to dump Mr. Duterte because what he said does not affect how and what he is going to do to save the Philippines from her own traditional politicians.

    • So how is he going to save the Philippines? Save from what – from Mr. Dee Gong? Has Mr. Dee Gong presented any blueprint how to solve the unemployment problem or how he will pursue job generation? Crime is an offshoot of hunger and poverty and those are the problems that need to be solved. Stopping a thief from snatching a handbag is better solved if the thief has a job to allow him to buy his next meal.

  25. Vulgar or not, Duterte is only talking. Blah blah lang yan. What is worse is Pnoy because he is not talking but doing. Look at Luneta massacre, GMA, Corona. DAP, PDAF, Typhoon Yolanda, Mamasapano and the cover up for his KKK. Mas delicado si Pnoy kasi ginawa na nya. Si Duterte, daldal lang.

  26. Dear Mr. Saludo,

    Many thanks for this unbiased article, it is certainly appreciated.

    More power,