• Duterte rails against biases

    LISTENING TOUR Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte stresses a point as he speaks before a gathering of Rotarians at the Century Park Hotel in Manila. Photo by Melyn Acosta

    LISTENING TOUR Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte stresses a point as he speaks before a gathering of Rotarians at the Century Park Hotel in Manila. Photo by Melyn Acosta

    Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has taken his advocacy for federalism to a different level, saying concentration of power in a highly centralized government based in Metro Manila has spawned biases against people from the provinces, including heroes and historical personalities.

    “You are so unfair. Your heroes here like Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio are installed on pedestals and their birthdays are declared public holidays,” Duterte told members of the different Rotary Clubs of Metro Manila who gathered at the Century Park Sheraton in Manila on Wednesday evening.

    “But what have you done to our hero, Lapu-lapu, the first Filipino to fight the imperialists? You named a fish after him and everyday you have fried Lapu-lapu and escabecheng Lapu-lapu,” the mayor said, drawing wild laughter from the Rotarians.

    “Lapu-lapu is our hero and he ends up on the chopping board. We have another hero from Bohol, Francisco Dagohoy, who fought the Spaniards but his name is also given derogatory meaning,” Duterte added.

    “In police lingo, “Dagohoy” means a ‘holdupper,’” he said.

    There are also other heroes from southern Philippines, among them Sultan Kudara, who ruled the plains of Central Mindanao in the 1600s and fought invading Spaniards in bloody hand-to-hand combat.

    He was declared a national hero, perhaps the only Muslim to be accorded the honor, by then-President Ferdinand Marcos.

    Along with Lapu-lapu and Dagohoy, Sultan Kudarat is also largely unknown among people in northern Philippines.

    “You have always looked at Mindanao as a distant star. But we are Filipinos just like you and
    I am here to ask you to make us feel that we are your brothers,” Duterte also told the

    The colorful Davao City mayor’s appearance before the members of the different Rotary Clubs was part of the “Listening Tour” that he started in January.

    The tour has brought him to different parts of the country to advocate for a shift from the presidential unitary form of government to a federal parliamentary form.

    Duterte said a highly centralized government where almost every action by local government units requires approval from the central government has stunted the growth of the regions.

    He cited a proposed Light Rail Transit (LRT) project for Davao City that was submitted to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for review and assessment.

    “It has been there for three years now but so far I have not received a word on whether they will approve it or not,” the mayor said.

    The proposed LRT project is planned to connect the southernmost barangay (village) of Davao City to its northern district to cut travel time and address expected traffic congestion with the projected growth of the city.

    The South Korean consultants who have proposed the project, however, have complained that they have been given the run-around in Metro Manila.

    “Kaya ang dapat itawag sa NEDA ay NADA, as in walang nada [So NEDA should be called Nada or nothing],” Duterte said.

    After his Manila meeting with the Rotarians, Duterte flew to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, for another leg of the “Listening Tour.”


    Please follow our commenting guidelines.


    1. Hindi kailangan ang BBL- BoBo Law ni Abnoy sa pagpaunlad na bayan ng Mindanao. Kailangan lang rin alisin ang mga MILF dahil ito ang dahilan sa gulo ng mga mamayan. Ang MILF ay hindi kapayapaan ang hinahanap sa binuboung BBL- Bobo Law, ito ay para magkaroon sila nag pondo pagpaunlad sa kanilang grupo at bandang huli ito lalong maghahasik ng kagulohan ang sinuportahan ng Gobernong Malaysia dahil kanilang balak agawin ang party na MINDANAO. Ito ay may pruyba sa pang aagaw katulad ng SABAH, ang SABAH ay bahagi ng Pilipinas ng isang Sultanate na si KIRAM at isang tunay na Pilipino. Hindi katulad ni IQBAL at MURAD ay mga MALAYSIAN.. HOY ABNOY.. GISING!!!!!

    2. Federalism? Filipino voters have still a lot to learn. Advance counties, like the US and many others have federal forms of government The good mayor of Davao City as principal proponent of federal parliamentary form of government is a good move. Yet, to expect that Duterte can easily put up a federal type is like expecting that no typhoon will enter PAR in 2016. A shift to federalism may take a long process and may not be finished in six years. For some time Pinoy voters may just be contented in bringing a new face in national politics, if indeed he will become president in 2016. With a strong-willed leader, proven for decades at the helm, peace under a federal government may come sooner than planned.

    3. I Remember... on

      Federation is the solution… getting rid of the palace is a must. Even in USA the President don’t control the entire taxes collected, the States and Cities collecting and spending themselves.

    4. Carl Cid Inting on

      The real evil in the Philippines is the highly centralized, oligarchic political and social structure that opresses the provinces and feeds Imperial Manila. BBL would not even be necessary if we had a more decentralized structure that empowers the far-flung provinces.

    5. ompong D Pogi on

      Just like former Mayors Bayani Fernando & Dick Gordon, Mayor Duterte is a practical man. These fine gentlemen knows how to a run the show and lead. They know what’s best for the majority of their people (just look at what they did in their respective city). If we, the filipino electorate are mature enough, I am very confident that any of these three Good Mayors can stir our country to the Right Path. Hindi yang “matuwid na daan” na yan na nagkabulu-baluktot na because of ignorance, apathy and sheer lack of experienced. I hope and pray that when the next election comes, we use our brains and not our stomach…