I HAD the opportunity to talk to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte last Friday at the airport, on his way to an out of the country trip.
Duterte, the most controversial local official in the land because of his no nonsense crime fighting style, said he is not running for president or vice prresident in 2016.
“I am old and I just want to rest after my term as mayor of Davao ,” said the local government official, believed to be in his late 60’s or very early 70’s.
The mayor’s name popped up as possible candidate for the presidential race in 2016 when Davaoeños started a signature campaign months ago prodding him to run for the highest office in the land.
As of Friday, not only do Davaoeños, but 6 million Mindanaoans wanted him to join the race to Malacañang two years from now.
Still Duterte insisted he is not running for either of the two higher positions. He claimed there were other good candidates available who can run the country better.
He even issued a statement last week saying he is going to shoot anybody who forces him to run for the presidency.
However, instead of silencing his supporters, a “shoot me Duterte” challenge has begun.
More and more people have joined in the said craze including actor Edu Manzano and my brother Mon, whose objective is to force Duterte to run in 2016 as President.
Duterte is right. There are other people who can run the country better than the one who is in Malacañang now, like Vice President Binay. Despite being persecuted and maligned, he continues to enjoy the support of the masses, as several surveys show.
Ever wonder why people, especially from the Visayas and Mindanao regions, want Duterte badly in Malacañang?
The answer is simple. They want somebody who is tough on crime and a disciplinarian at times like this where criminals and rogue cops seem to rule the streets.
Notorious criminals in Davao City vanish in thin air if they do not heed the mayor’s call to leave, so do any abusive lawmen.
People can walk on the streets of Davao even in the wee hours of the morning without being mugged or robbed, or extorted.
Still Mayor Rody wants a quiet and peaceful life after 2016.