• Mindanao’s best hope for the presidency


    PRESIDENT Fidel V. Ramos, undeniably among the best leaders of the country, was emphatic in his declaration that the elections of 2016 offer the best hope for Mindanao to produce its first President.

    The subject of the former president’s hopeful projection is the colorful, yet controversial, mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who as a public prosecutor sent criminals and malefactors to jail and who is now suspected to be the main reason why the same criminals, especially drug pushers, do not get jailed anymore.

    Accused by human rights groups of being behind the extra-judicial killings of drug dealers, kidnappers and even rogue policemen and called “The Punisher” by the international publication Time Magazine, the 69-year-old Duterte has transformed Davao City from the “Killing Fields” of the Philippines where communist assassins and criminals operated with impunity into being named as One of the Safest Cities in the World to live in.

    His modus vivendi forged with the Communist New People’s (NPA) and friendship with leaders of the two major Moro rebel groups in the Southern Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has made Davao a virtual “Peace City.”

    In fact, on Oct. 26, 2002, during Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao’s defense of the IBF Super Bantamweight title, Duterte invited the NPAs, the MILF, the MNLF, soldiers and policemen to join him in watching the fight at the RMC Gym.

    The event was a knockout both for Pacquiao, who demolished the Thai challenger in the first round, and Duterte, who proved to the rest of the country that people who would kill each other in the battlefield could be brought together under one roof.

    Davao City has become what people living in other areas would like their city to be or what this country should be.

    It has the only working 911 Emergency Response Group which could respond in less than 10 minutes, the only city where no firecrackers or fireworks mark the celebration of Christmas and New Year but just “torotot” and where watering holes close at 1 a.m.

    Davao City is the first local government unit to implement a very strict campaign against smoking in public places and a speed limit ordinance in the city which saw the arrest of hundreds of speedsters, including the Mayor’s own daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, herself a former mayor of the city.

    A former Davao Governor’s son, Duterte has also endeared himself to the people for his simple lifestyle, moving around the city in an old model pickup and living in a low-cost housing subdivision.

    Businessmen in Davao City, including new investors in the city, attest that nobody asked them to shell out money in exchange for the facilitation of their business permits and other documents.

    In fact, in the last elections, Duterte turned down contributions from big businessmen in the city saying that he did not need the funds because he was running unopposed.

    There are, however, several things about Duterte which ruffle the feathers of some people.

    His the-hell-do-I-care attitude rubs on some people, especially those who are not used to hearing cuss words which come out aplenty from the colorful city mayor’s mouth.

    Duterte’s thoughts on how to end the 46-year-old Communist insurgency where he proposes allowing Jose Ma. Sison and his group to work with him in government on the condition that they lay down their guns scares some sectors, especially the landed.

    His proposal to transform the governmental system from Unitary Presidential to Federal Parliamentary is also sending shivers down the spine of the big political interests in the Philippine national Capital City who have been used to holding the purse and controlling the country’s political destiny.

    The most problematic issue, however, which would negate a Duterte presidency is his unwillingness to run for president.

    Although he has softened a bit on his earlier hardline position against the idea of the presidency, in jest threatening even to shoot people who are endorsing him, Duterte maintains the presidency does not excite him.

    “What will I do there (referring to Malacañang)? The salary is small and the workload is huge. Besides, I might end up in jail after my term, just like the others,” Duterte tells those who are asking him to run.

    Lately, however, Duterte has agreed to listen and has started a nation-wide
    “Listening Tour” where he will continue to espouse his advocacy on Federalism while at the same time gauging the sentiments of the people on the presidency.

    Should he be convinced to run, Duterte would be Mindanao’s best hope to have a son occupying the Palace by the Pasig River.

    The country, on the other hand, would have a bright prospect in its fight against corruption and criminality and may finally have a president who has the guts to hold by the horn the age-old problems of the Communist Insurgency and the Moro Secession.


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    1. edward larubis on

      If he will be the President, one term is not even enough to change the form of government. The second or another term is not enough for a government to move on with the new form of government. The third term, is a new light to see and clean the system. Therefore it take 4 terms to see fruits “if” the new form of government will be properly managed.

    2. Im for Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte for President in 2016. Besides being a Dabawenyo I too is in favor for a Federal Parliamentary form of government since we advocate for that.This is the time to give genuine autonomy to the local government or member state and abolish the antiquated system wherein the power is highly centralized in the National Government. Mayor Digong is the best among the rest, he has the experience, intelligence and courage and admired for being pro-poor..We are always here to support you whatever your decision. For God and Country let us vote for the best and that’s Mayor Digong…Mabuhay po ang sambayanang Pilipino. God bless the Philippines.

    3. Mayor Duterte has the unquestionable guts and political will to turn around this country now being bleed to death by corrupt politicians. He is always apolitical when it comes to decision-making especially affecting his constituents. To make this country “great again” we need someone with the caliber and guts of Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte for President. Long live Duterte the next President of the Republic of the Philippines. Mabuhay ka!

    4. sonny dela cruz on

      Slow down people. A president needs not to be a macho person. The country has laws to folllow. A president should be a good manager, dedicated and must have a program for the country and the people, but first the Philippines should shift from Unicameral government into Federal system of government with only two party system too. Federal system reduces the president to govern the day to day activities of each regional government. The governor is the one who will work for the region. They have their own laws but not conflicting with the Federal laws. They have their own assembly and supreme court too. Judges, chief of police, attorney General and other positions are elected by the people without any party affiliation. If you have been in California you know what I am talking about. Mr. Duterte might be a good president if elected but I prefer Mr. Richard Gordon, he’ll be a very good president. I don’t know him personally but his record shows he can run the country with dignity and the Philippines can be great again economioally.

    5. For me, Duterte if becomes President, would be the Abraham Lincoln of the Philippines. If not Lincoln stood fiercely and decisively against the Confederates, no more USA today as America would have been crumbled. Thus, Duterte, could address secessionism and communist insurgency. I am for Duterte for Presidency in 2016.

    6. Francisco Puey on

      From marcos down to pnoy….. Nothing has improved! Pnoys campaign slogan “KUNG WALANG CORRUPT WALANG MAHIRAP….KAYO ANG BOSS KO” is nothing but HYPOCRICY. While he was in the UN talking about the ill effects of CLIMATE CHANGE, his DOE Secretary Petilla back home is also busy suffocating us with lots and lots of coal power plants. Then Pnoy asks congress for emergency powers to address power shortage. But shelving the Renewable Energy Act RA 9513 and the Clean Air Act of 1999 RA 8749 in the emergency powers is highly suspicious. I’m not against this emergency powers provided it is limited to renewable and clean energy. The Malampaya Fund should be for the exclusive use of clean energy and never fossil and coal.

      • Asuncion Soriano on

        Correct, ideally renewable energy, but dahan dahan ang shift no, renewable energy is very costly and takes time to develop. So maybe as soon as we can afford renewable energy, of course. Immediate ang energy needs natin.

    7. concerned citizen on

      Thanks very much for this enlightening piece. I was contemplating voting for Duterte in 2016 should he decide to run for president, but I wasn’t sure that he knew anything beyond ordering crooks to be jailed or shot, and extrajudicially at that. The fact, however, that he advocates a federal parliamentary government in place of our present unitary presidential one speaks volumes about his knowledge of governance beyond small-town politics. I’m more convinced now that Duterte is the one!

      • That is an excellent qualification by itself. Imagine finding no crooks in the government or in jail. He has to build more cemeteries though.

    8. It’s just a matter of time Mayor Duterte will have his hands full on this corrupt officials, if ever he became president, that makes our country one of the most corrupt countries in the world. These resulted to poor services, uneven wealth, crimes and even death on innocent children and civilians. I hope he lends his ear to the masses and face what he destine to be.

    9. jose b taganahan on

      Although I live in Mindanao,I would rather prefer to vote for former Sen. Panfilo Lacson over Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as President in 2016.Of course, the important thing is; anybody but Binay.

    10. Duterte could very well be the person the Philippines needs at this time. He would be a force in cleansing the government of corruption and he has been successful in running Davao.

    11. Nasa iyo mayor duterte ang disiplina at prinsipyo nalulutas sa problema ng pilipinas…sana tanggapin mo ang pagtakbo bilang pangulo…at sana ikaw na ang susunod na pangulo ng pilipinas

    12. please Mr.Roa Duterte..come to Manila to run for Presidency… clean d dirty government that we have…

    13. Ramon Magsaysay did not want the Presidency but the people pushed him there. He later became the most beloved President of the Philippines and called him, “Magsaysay is My guy” Raul Manglapus composed the song “Mambo Mambo Magsaysay” and Ramon danced the Mambo very good.

      Mayor Rodrigo Duterte may become the second “Ramon Magsaysay”. I have the feeling
      that Rodrigo can dance the “Cha Cha” very good. He may be the most “feared President of the law breakers”. Let us push him to Malacanang – “Duterte is the Man.”

    14. Yes probably he’s the best hope of the country to send the binays to jail. We voters lost hope that the binays will be prosecuted and convicted since they know all the legal technicalities to avoid being convicted and jailed. If all the 6-8 million people who welcomed the Pope pray together to save the Philippines from the binays then We’ll have a chance to have a disciplined country free of corruption.

    15. I do not know personally Mr. Duterte nor he knows me, but I have always thought that he is the man to vote for the presidency in 2016, if we care for our country’s
      deliverance from the corrupt and traditional politicos who have ruined our beloved Philippines.

      • A Filipino Citizen on

        I can understand why Mayor Duterte would have second thoughts on vying for the top position. There has been a trend showing up in the recent events surrounding this position wherein after one gets elected, you automatically become the one to blame for all the problems facing this country even for the plight of filipinoes working halfway around the world. And worse, when your term comes to an end, the successor blames you for the problems of the current administration and does everything to get in imprisoned or discredited at the least. And the cycle continues. I firmly believe that he will be the one to break this ugly cycle and coupled with his proposed Federal Government, he will have brought the people closer to the fold. I’d like to add that these by themselves had me convinced that thesr are the perfect ingredients to our salvation from the slow decay of the Filipino Nation, its economy, politics and most of all its spirit. But why stop there? Why not abolish the messy multi party system and adopt the bipartisan system. We already tried to alternative and it failed miserably. Let’s give this one a chance.