Death, impeachment don’t scare Duterte
President-elect Rodrigo Duterte said the threat of death or impeachment will not stop him from fulfilling his campaign promises to stop crime and corruption.
In his last speech as mayor of Davao City on Monday, Duterte declared that he is willing to put his life and honor on the line and is ready to relinquish his post if he fails to deliver on his promises to the people.
“Impeachment? Go ahead! Walang problema sa akin [I have no problem with that]. I will insist [on doing]what I promised to the people,” he said three days before assuming the presidency.
“Tutuparin ko ‘yan maski sagasaan ko maski na sino and I stake my honor, my life, and the presidency itself, even if I lose it. Pagka sinabi kong huminto kayo, huminto kayo [I will fulfill my promises]. When I say you stop, you better stop],” Duterte added, apparently addressing the crooks in the government and the drug traffickers and other criminals.
He vowed that corruption will not be tolerated by his administration.
“I am hell-bent on stopping corruption. Ayaw ko talaga. ‘Yan ang tandaan ninyo kasi you’ll never get any help from me kung may kaso kayo [I loathe corruption. Keep that in mind because you will never get any help from me if you get charged],” Duterte said in a warning seen directed at his chosen Cabinet officials.
He took potshots at Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon for apparently siding with slain criminals.
“These human rights [groups], congressmen, how stupid you are,” the President-elect said as he highlighted their criticism of his plans to impose late-night curfew on children and to reintroduce death penalty.
“The problem is that they seem to treat [these criminals]like saints,” he added.
Duterte reiterated his stand in favor of capital punishment.
“You have to pay for the crime you did. If you murdered or raped a person, you have to die… You have to kill yourself,” he said.
For the hopeless
A number of successful programs he implemented in Davao City will be replicated all over the country, according to the outgoing mayor.
In particular, he said, government processes must be shortened and hastened.
“It pains me to see people from as far as Cotabato [a province in southern Mindanao]having to suffer long lines and waiting,” Duterte added.
He promised that his government will be for the “hopeless, helpless and defenseless,” citing threats posed by criminals on all peace-loving individuals.
“Do not threaten any government worker who is just doing his job,” Duterte said.
According to the incoming President, he was seriously thinking if he would proceed with ordering a liquor ban nationwide (starting at 1 a.m.) as he did in Davao City.
He defended the curfew for minors as a means to “protect the youth,” not harm them.
Critics of the plan, Duterte said, are “fools” who think that young children are being punished for being out on the streets late at night.
“We do that to protect them from harm… it’s their parents who should be punished for abandonment,” he pointed out.
Duterte also warned his Cabinet officials who plan to run for higher office not to campaign while they are still with his administration.
“Sabi ko sa mga [I told] the Cabinet members, ‘Do not launch a campaign here in the office. If [you plan on]running for a [higher]public office or if you have plans to whatever, do not do it here in my Cabinet,’” he said.
“Ayaw ko ‘yung nakaupo dito na magkandidato, kasi [I do not want incumbent officials to campaign from their offices because they will just use public funds and the time and the effort of government just to campaign to win,” Duterte added.
The 71-year-old President-elect said since his Cabinet is mostly composed of people near his own age, they should just retire at the end of his six-year term.
“Sabi ko [I told them],we retire altogether,” he added.
The mayor said he has no intention of running for any position in 2022, the end of his single, six-year term.
“Tama na ito [This is enough], binigay ng Diyos ito [God gave me this],” he added.
Duterte faced his constituents in Davao City for the last time on Monday as mayor, a position he held for about three decades, and bade them farewell.
During flag-raising at the Davao City Hall, he thanked his supporters for the trust they have given him through the years, saying it was his unique leadership in the southern city that propelled him to the highest office in the land.
If it were not for Davao City, Duterte said, nobody would have known him.
It was there that he gained prominence for his tough stance against criminality, drugs and corruption.
As a parting gift, the outgoing mayor ordered the distribution of P10,000 educational assistance for city hall employees and units that worked under him.
“Just give the money directly to the wives,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.