He is known for being tough and talking rough, but on Tuesday, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte showed his soft side when he broke down in a visit to his parents’ grave at the Davao Public Cemetery.
Duterte visited his parents’ grave at past 3 a.m., hours after partial and unofficial election results showed him leading the presidential race by a wide margin.
His father, Vicente, was governor of Davao, and his mother, Soledad, was a school teacher.
Facing the tomb of his mother, Duterte wept.
Those who accompanied him heard him ask for guidance and courage in leading the country.
He bowed before his father’s grave and buried his face in his arms.
Duterte’s path to the presidency was mired with controversies because of his comments on issues and on people.
Aside from promising to stamp out criminality in six months, he vowed to shift to a federal form of government, a long-time advocacy.
The soon-to-be President also promised to behave once ensconced in Malacañang.
In an interview at the late-night show of his friend Pastor Apollo Quiboloy in Davao City, Duterte said he is ready to be a statesman.
“I’ll just ask for your understanding kasi may panahon ay umiiksi na para mag-behave na talaga. Good manners and right conduct, bagsak talaga ako diyan kaya I’m enjoying my few days. One month from now, I will be taking my oath of office if indeed I won the elections [I’ll just ask for your understanding because my time is short, I will really behave.
I failed at good manners and right conduct, that is why I’m enjoying my few days],” he added.
“Grant me this little [time], to banter with you Filipinos. Pero ‘pag Presidente na ako, hindi ko gagawin ‘yan syempre, behaved talaga. Ang problema ‘yung barong [But when I’m President, I won’t do that, I’ll behave. The problem is the barong],” the mayor said.
The barong, whether short-sleeved or long-sleeved, is a shirt that is acceptable as formal wear for Filipino men.
Duterte, however, seemed not to be fond of it, as most of his pictures in newspapers and images on television show him dressed in casual, short-sleeved shirts and jeans.
He has been widely criticized for his rough demeanor, cussing at Pope Francis last year and for making light a few weeks before the May 9 elections of the rape and killing of an Australian missionary.
The mayor has refused to apologize for his foul mouth, saying it is part of his identity.