The Duterte candidacy: An imminent danger to our country?


“We need complete, truthful information. And the truth should not depend on whom it is to serve.”
–Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

I am writing this piece from Cagayan de Oro City – the capital of Misamis Oriental, the province I served as an elected Opposition Provincial Governor in 1980, during martial law. I keep on remembering the years of struggle for restoration of formal democracy in the Philippines. I remembered the slogans I coined which propelled me to the halls of the Batasang Pambansa (Parliament) in 1984 – “Misamis Oriental Where Ideas Moved Mountains” and “Today Mindanao, Tomorrow the Philippines.”

Contrary to the erroneous interpretation of my detractors and some of my admirers that the slogans were an articulation of my ambition to be leader of the country, they had really nothing to do with that. Everybody who has academic and extra-curricular excellence in the University of the Philippines is always viewed as gifted with that ambition. But I have always thought of myself as an exception because I believe in the French maxim of carpe diem – seize the day and the moment– and Bobby Kennedy’s fatalistic view that it is needless to expect many things for tomorrow because destiny is determined by Providence or the Fates.

The boy-man Duterte
In the course of my dalliance with the elusive meanderings down memory lane, I remember Reuben Canoy and I visited the residence of Governor Duterte, the father of the boy Rodrigo who later became mayor of Davao City during martial law. The picture was that of a nondescript young man sitting with crossed legs on a wooden and rattan chair who looked very much older than his age. If my memory has not eluded me, it was Reuben who told me that the nondescript character was the son of Governor Duterte of Davao which was then one huge province, now split into four provinces.

The next time I saw Mayor Duterte was on the TV screen in Davao City with his usual bluster telling then Councilor Jun Pala of Davao City that Jun escaped the first two ambushes but he could not escape the third. I was shocked by his bravado and braggadocio. I thought the moment I saw the TV threat that it was just a lot of bluster not meant to be taken seriously.

But I learned later when I was back in Manila that Jun Pala was assassinated in an ambush. I began to examine that image of the nondescript boy on a chair with crossed legs and the man in television who I thought threatened Jun Pala. Everything else after that was the information in the grape vine that the boy man Duterte as mayor of Davao City was the terror feared by criminals; that he and his death squads killed criminals and drug addicts without due process; that he and his boys bragged that he has cleaned Davao City of criminals by unfettered killings; and that he is the bravest man in town but always followed and escorted by a bunch of bodyguards.

An imminent danger to our country?
Characters like Duterte do not disturb me for as long as they limit the exercise of their power and influence in their cities or towns, as long as I am not a resident of there. With my democratic bias, I always hew to the line that the people get the government they deserve. But I get agitated when characters like those run for President of the Philippines because of my love and commitment to this country. As a citizen, like the rest of the crazy crowds in this country, I am as much entitled to exercise my right to free speech as they are.

The first time I heard Duterte might run for President of the Philippines was that evening when Reuben Canoy, Nene Pimentel and I were honored by the Cagayan de Oro City Press and Radio Club two years ago as freedom fighters. Out of the blue Reuben said that it was about time the country elected a Mindanaoan as President of the Philippines. He mentioned Duterte’s name as his nominee. I was appalled by the suggestion considering Duterte’s obvious lack of qualifications – admitted killer, admitted adulterer, admitted bigamist, lack of intellectual depth, flaunting his courage and defiance of the due process of law. I thought Reuben’s suggestion was a joke but it was greeted by a thunderous applause by a relatively intelligent Cagayan de Oro City crowd. I thought to myself, the suggestion may not be a joke after all.

I am still in Cagayan de Oro as of this writing and in my cursory survey of people I met in the Northern Mindanao provinces and in NAIA 3 and Laguindingan Airport, this boy man Duterte has mesmerized the ordinary citizens and even some significant members of the middle class and the upper class. His banners and posters are visible everywhere not to speak of stickers in upper class vehicles. If this were not the Philippines, the Duterte phenomenon would be considered a weird and insane development in human affairs. Why? Because based on his well publicized admissions and information circulated about this boy man Duterte, he is obviously unfit to be President of the Philippines.

Questions for Duterte
But public adulation of this boy man cannot just be ignored. If he were running for the Senate, he could be dismissed as one of those things considering the current composition of the Senate. But he is running for President and the fate of a hundred million Filipinos today and millions of Filipinos of tomorrow would be in his hands for the longest six years of our lives should he be elected President. So everybody should be intelligently involved in the fateful choice of the next President.

Despite my assessment of this boy man Duterte, I maintain an open mind in entertaining the idea I could possibly be mistaken in my perception of him, though the possibility is a stellar parallax away. So here are some questions for Duterte, hoping that with his answers he could clear the air of the overwhelming negatives about him.

1. Since you have publicly admitted several times that you have killed criminals without due process of law, how many criminals have you and your death squads killed in Davao City in that fashion during your incumbency as mayor of your city?

2. Of the many that you killed, how many of them were poor and defenseless?

3. Have you killed any rich and powerful person in your city who was a criminal – like a land grabber, a drug lord, a rice smuggler, a tax evader, a gun runner, a crooked politician, to mention a few?

4. You claim that Davao City is the safest city in the country, why does it hold one of the top five highest records of criminality in the whole country?

5. If Davao City is the safest city in our country, why is it considered the murder capital of the Philippines?

6. If Davao City has a record of many unsolved crimes, what then were you doing as mayor of your city?

7. One of the most colorful figures of your City was Councilor Jun Pala. Was his murderer ever caught?

8. Is it true, as suspected by many in your city, that you were the mastermind in the murder of Jun Pala?

9. Is it true that you were behind the killing of two media persons who were critical of you in your city, as some people in your city suspect?

10. Is it true that the Ampatuans of Maguindanao who are facing murder charges are your friends?

11. If they are, is this the reason why they have mansions in your city which were found to have cache of arms and ammunitions as well as stocks of money, as reported by media?

12. As a lawyer you should know that holding unlicensed firearms and ammunitions are criminal offenses, why did you not help in prosecuting the Ampatuans in your city?

13. As a lawyer why do you insist on killing people without due process?

14. Why don’t you surrender your diploma and license as a lawyer since you do not believe in due process?

15. If you could not clean Davao City of criminality in your 15 years stint as mayor, how could you get rid of criminality in our country in six months as you keep on proclaiming?

16. Many policemen in the country are abusing their powers today and will you have a criminal police force in every town in our country since you will allow them to kill criminals at will?

17. In the course of your campaign speech in the North, you told your audience that you will allow them to kill criminals without criminal liability, so is it your aim to have a population of criminals in the country since killing is prohibited by law?

18. The military men are killing Lumads and rebels at will in Mindanao, so you will have more killers in the military since you free them from any criminal liability?

There are more questions for Duterte in my next column since every time he opens his mouth it’s a miracle if he does not commit a mistake.


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Duterte is a clear and present danger. He must not be elected as president period.

  2. Elcid Pelayo on

    we are trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea…but at least this devil speaks cebuano and has nothing to do with the taga-ilogs who have brought us further towards the deep blue sea….

  3. First, almost ALL articles in are Anti-Duterte.

    Second, i did not expect that Bono Adaza, whom I admired when i was a kid will go against Duterte.

    Bono, is it sour grapes that you didnt go as far as Duterte now?

    Bono if you run for a public office now i will still vote for you. But Duterte is my President and majority of CDO and Misamis Oriental has the same opinion.

    You better stop writing for Manila Times because they are a bunch of puppets ready to take money from the highest corrupt bidder.

    Bono, your legacy will be tarnished if you continue to do what you are doing now.

    How much are they paying you? The Elites and the Oligarhs of the Philippines?

    Did you run out of money?

    Vox populi, vox dei.

    • Don’t judge him this early. I read his book LEADERS FROM MARCOS TO ARROYO and this is what he said:”Victory or defeat is determined at the edge of the graveyard.” Bono is still far from the edge. Great men, as Bono says in that book , create their own seasons. He might just well do that.

  4. Then who is your president my idol Bono Adaza?

    Sorry, I disagree on you.

    Digong never said that he shot criminals without due process. Why you wait the criminals give a chance to kill you? Unahan mo na. If you know in depth about Davao cityś program on criminals, addicts, etc., they have the best in the country.

    Any president, prime minister or head of state is a killer. Will you agree on me? If not then dissolve the AFP and PNP.

    If you research well on Digongś life, you must be overwhelmed much than FPJ encounter.

    You are only bitter to Digong because you never be a president as you tried long before. I urged you to support our ´silingan´. Mindanao Alliance anyone?

    • Its senseless to argue with idiots like these.
      Please mr author refrain from indulging this nimrod.

    • Lia Del Carmen on

      Excuse me. In most of his press conferences he is clear about his stand and experience in extra judicial killings. I suggest you do your research and study your candidate.

  5. Cesar Ricasio on

    Does every Pinoy think that Mr. Duterte’s leadership style would suit the kind of leadership needed for the entire country? Does Mr. Duterte have what it takes to be the Chief Executive of the entire country and not just Davao City that represents a small fraction of the archipelago? Does he possess good management skill, the audacity of a good leader willing to take risks, right political temperament, strength of mind and character as well as stern political will to execute laws without fear or favor.
    Apparently, Mr. Duterte doesnt have all these. He doesnt even know the rule of law.

    • Stacey Socorro on

      If perfection is what you seek in a president, then don’t live in the Philippines. People don’t have proper conduct over the law. Duterte is a lawyer. And is the first one who vices women’s rights. Your judgement is not enough to judge someone you are not familiar of.

    • kirk timebomb walters on

      then who will you vote wiseguy?rapist like binay or roxas or the self proclaimed american poe?

  6. Marilyn Y. Purcival on

    Maganda magsalita itong si Homobono Adaza, bilib ako! Bakit ano ba ang nagawa nya sa Cagayan de Oro City nong sya ay nasa puesto as a public servant? Easy to criticized Mr. Duterte, ayaw nyo lang umasenso ang pilipinas. Nagngingitngit lang ang butsi nyo dahil nobody got the balls and who are brave enough , and bold enough to lay out the problems of the country, sya lang! Rampant na ang criminality, drugs, at corruption sa bansa. Kayo mga OPISYAL ng GOBYERNO! past and present, mi nagawa ba kayo na ikakaasenso sa pilipinas nong kayo ang naglingkod sa bayan? Dilat na dilat ang mga mata nyo noong kayo pa at hanggang ngayon na naninilbihan sa gobyerno! Mga walanghiya kayo! Ang laki ng mga bibig nyo, wala naman kayong kabutihang nagawa sa bansa! Magsitigil nga kayo! Makapal mga mukha nyo!

    • Ito ang mga nagawa ni Bono as an Opposition Governor of Misamis Oriental: 1) nga daan na umabut sa mga kabundukan;2) lampas sa sang libo na shallow and deep wells sa buong probinsya; 3)mga labing sampo na tulay na concreto sa aming probinsya; 4) mga dami daming balay paaralan sa buong probinsya; 5) mga sampunb communal watersystems; 6) si Bono ng unang partido na lumaban kay Marcos sa eleksiyon noong 1978; 7) sya ang natirang lumaban kay Marcos sa Batasang Pambansa. Kong wala pa si Bono wala ka sana sa it ngayon.

  7. Niño Paterno on

    Very good analysis on Mr. Duterte. But please do the same analysis to othrr presidential candidates and let the people see who is the lesser evil.

    • armando ugates on

      Duterte is the real evil, he has all the quality of being a Devil incarnate. He is criminal , a liar , a blasphemer. an immoral, and extremely vulgar. Only idiots will vote for this lunatic candidate, and truly a real danger to the Philippine democracy.

  8. I got your reservations Mr. writer sir but the accusations against killing journalist and arresting the ampatuans I guess the victim journalists got it coming for them or one of them at least since he was a staunch anti-communist and made a lot of enemies even before duterte was the mayor. And for the ampatuans who would ever go against them if you need a division of soldiers just to arrest them, the mayor was even asked on the height of 2009 maguindanao massacre would he arrest them? He blurted out that bravery has it limits but cowardice is unlimited, shows that its a tall order to go against those people without the national governments backing.

    Points 16, 17 and 18 believe me Mr. writer sir he would back the police and military in their duties but he is also quick to reprimand abusive men in uniform or even remove them in a very unpleasing manner.

    p.s., It is surprising sir to be able to see a mayor from the provincial south suddenly surge and be thrust into the limelight of the presidential position, sometimes desperate times need desperate measures and with our available choices besides the duterte,hmmm? I guess incompetence, corruption and inexperience always pale in comparison to strong leadership and proven track record.

  9. It is difficult to believe the claims of fictitious people. Those who hide their identity are cowards. Homobono Adaza is just like the rest of other government officials, they did nothing when they are supposed to have the opportunity to do so. If you believe that Duterte violated the law why didn’t you file a case against him? For the record, there is not a single case filed against him. Your claims, assuming correct, are too late. The van wagon are now at its fastest peak, it is already irreversible. Fasten your seat belt, change is coming.

    • change is coming go for du30…we are going back to dark days for filipinos soon….

    • Toots Salimpade on

      Van Wagon? or do you mean bandwagon? kindly check the meaning..of bandwagon because it might not help positively your claim..

  10. We can imagine what lies ahead when becomes president, he is already showing us glimpse of what he will do,…and hopefully people can see through it before it’s too late…

  11. Yay, another fearmongering about Duterte just because he’s not hostile to communists. That thing isn’t working anymore.

  12. Sergio Ibarra on

    I think voting this kind of candidate as the new president is a bad idea. Let us not be fooled by promises that is not true.

  13. I want all drug lords and street criminals dead or jailed and I don’t care much about the law since our law is breakable anyway. Gov’t officials and employees breach our law more often than any citizen and I want them also in jail. If Duterte can reduce crimes significantly, who cares about dictatorship as long as good citizens are protected and government serves to the poor more than it serve to the oligarch.

    • What if the one killed is your relative just because a corrupt police officer said he is a drug addict without proving it in court? Will you still support President Duterte?

    • This is the current situation with our current sitting politicians..and no action done..

  14. Amen to sir Bono’s view on Dudirty.

    I have still high respect for Bono Daza who still maintained his unquestionable principles and undying love for democracy and freedom until now since martial law days. He was the genuine Mindanaoan voice that irritated Marcos during the dark days of our country (golden days kuno said BBM). While Bono have some shortcomings afterwards, I still salute you.

  15. The poor and the defenseless are known to be the victims here…The Ampatuans, kings and princes in their own right in maguindanao is also feared in Davao City as their heavily armed convoy can enter the city without hassles from Davao Task Force manning the check point along the way. Is this selective justice or what? The saying goes ” Don’t lick the powerful and mighty, join ’em”…

  16. Alberto Maliwat Jr. on

    Duterte is pro-communism that’s why he want “Kangaroo court” killing without due process. He is a lawyer but don’t believe in it so he should be disbar.

  17. Give Filipinos the chance to experience a safe haven, it’s time. 50 years of agony in the hands of corrupt politicians and high criminality rate due to poverty which remained unchanged. Give the man a chance to prove to the country his worth, afterall what is 6 years compared to 50…

    • The future of 100 million Filipinos cannot be a trial and error…how about if he becomes what is being perceived as a dictator, can we just tell him to step down …another dark days for Filipinos..

    • how sure are u that we will be in heaven when he’s elected?? nothing is sure my friend so it’s like gumbling for 6 yrs??? OMGGG poor people…I could imagine what it will be likes when he’s elected..Philippines going backward.. u see what he said in spratley d natin kaya ang china so ibigay na lang na may kapalit.. so it is understandable why he ignored the ampatuans..

    • boy delos santos on

      how can we experience safe haven when the city being governed by this ambitious mayor has been declared as MURDER CAPITAL OF THE PHILIPPINES?

  18. Harush Nandwani on

    In a very rare instance the common man has united against vested and powerful interests ….Duterte is their overwhelping choice .. just as Fernando Po was … shall we again tart the people voice …. poverty. .. crime …abuse in government …is all we have received after Marcos ….is itnot an abuse of our human rights that our country cannot provide the great majority education ..opportunity for advancement .. a decent job… our leaders have failed us …..abused us .. oppressed us …let the people’s voice be heard and followed …Duterte is their call

  19. Ang daming bobotante sa pilipinas. Pati komunista suportado at niyayakap. Hindi na inaalintana ang kapahamakang hinaharap. Mga bobo at tanga. Hindi alam ang mabuti at masama. Dahil sa iniyong katangahan at kamangmangan, you will get what you deserve. Buti na lang at nasa ibang bansa na ako. Hindi ako masiyadong damay sa kamalasan at kabuwisitan dahil sa kabobohan at kamangmangan ng mga kababayan. Pag si Duterte ang nanalo, pasok na sa malacanang ang mga komunistang suportado niyo dahil sa kabobohan at katangahan niyo. Lol

    • I agree. Filipinos are mesmerized with Duterte like Americans are mesmerized with Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood. That he is the answer to criminality. Unfortunately, the Filipino voters are very uneducated and very regionalistic that there is a big chance that Duterte will be the next president. I pray that God will intercede and the right person be elected in our beloved country.

    • ano ba ang mali sa idealismong komunista? ang China, Russia, Vietnam mga kumunista bakit mas mayaman pa kesa sa Pilipinas na demokrasya?

      Kahit demokrasya ka o komunista ang bansa mo kung ang tao wlang disiplina at di marunong sumunod sa batas,3-world class ang bansa mo.

      Its time for the Philippines to be united amidst different ideology. Kaya tayo mahirap kasi hanggang ngayun parehong pilipino, di nagkakaisa.

      So what if may MILF, MNLF, CPP, NPA na nasa Malacanang, kung ang hangarin lang ng bawat isa ay magkaroon ng bansang mapayapa at pagkakaisa?

  20. Ur correct kawawa ung mhihirap un lng ang mamatay how about the politicos and the influential persons kaya niya bng papatay un not to mention the likes of ampatuan na kaibigan niya. Huwag taung padala sa false promises sa pelikula lng mngyayari un not in reality.

  21. >>>HOMOBONO A. ADAZA, lol pakawala ni Roxas to o kaya Binay o Grace Poe, what a desperate move, thanks for the effort in posting your wtf article.

    FYI Carpe diem is latin do your homework before posting here

    • No one did for several reasons, but more to answer our question, if this method proves to be a valid way of vetting presidential candidates, then why not start now? Why do we have to wait or worse say we should not it because it was never done in the past?

  22. I think Duterte endanger to our country
    which already recovring slowly. I dont know where is the heart of this kind of indivedual. Killing human being w/o a due process of law.

  23. Duterte said he is against corruption, can the media take a look of his children’s assets/wealth, particularly his vice mayor son who reportedly has a mansion and fleet of cars/SUV. Is he a plain politician or a successful businessman that he can afford this luxurious life? Why dont you dare Duterte to have his children as well sign a waiver and open their bank accounts to the public.

  24. All good leaders kill..with the stroke of their pen, to protect the majority of their people.

  25. As a possible president of the country, Mayor Duterte should not sow terror and killings as the solution for cleaning up the country of “undesirable” citizens since a good example of death squads is El Salvador in the 1980’s where over 23,000 were killed by government sanctioned death squads but it did not eradicate criminality in that country until now. Rather an intelligent president should follow the due process of low crime rate countries the likes of Japan, South Korea, Hongkong and Singapore. No dead bodies and low crime rate should be the goal of a progressive country. When the killing starts in Mayor Duterte’s possible presidency then all the Catholics and Christians who voted for him cannot complain that it may be too severe since they accept it as their absolute solution for the country’s progress.

  26. Mayor Dutente, if he ran, would be President of the United States.

    Criminals: violent, corrupt, drug, or otherwise need to be treated with tough love, gloves off, no fooling around, give them some Manny Paquiao, keep lowering their numbers until they are so afraid of the law and justice they go straight and are no longer criminals.

    Governments tend to tolerate criminals for too many reasons.

    Elect Rodrigo Dutente; he’ll straighten out the Philippines and bring in more investments, good jobs, and prosperity to the Philippines.

  27. Jerry De Jesus on

    Bono, Bono, Bono. Who did you expect Reuben Canoy would like to be president? You? Ride into the sunset Bono. You had you chance and you squandered it.

  28. Duterte is a fraud. Only the dumb and stupid will vote for Duterte. The sad truth is that there are more dumb and stupid in this country that the thinking ones so the Philippines is in danger of having Duterte as the next dictator. Poor Filipinos, you dumb people, you deserve what you deserve.

    • Who ever will be your choice is the dumbest choice, because none of the candidates are qualified to run the country, aside from Duterte.

    • If we are dumb you are coward and the one who is fraudulent. You do not even reveal your own identify. People who hide their identity are presumed to hide anomalous characters. Duterte supporters are real people and you are fictitious how are we going to believe in what you say?

    • kirk timebomb walters on

      what do you mean?that you are the only one who has a thinking brain here?filipinos who hate duterte should be the one sent to outer space because they hate change.if you hate change,go to hell moron

  29. But Bono, if I remember right, an earlier column of yours ranted a preference for a Mindanaoan to become a president of this county. So how do you reconcile this seeming diametrically opposed views?

  30. Nestor Baylan on

    Duterte’s winning the presidency is not an imminent danger to the country. I see it differently. Criminals and other white collar scoundrels will end up as ENDANGERED SPECIES.

    • Global Citizen on

      I think Duterte will likely be more endangered. Criminals arent dumb. They will find a way.

  31. Rudi Miranda on

    The talks of Duterte are just the opposite of ‘understatements.’ Hyperbole, ika nga ni Sen. M.D. Santiago. But, bulls eye re Ampatuan, iyon ang kelangan ng matino na sagot. Ano kaya, imminent danger? Ngunit, hindi po ba ang buong Pilipinas ay nasa kalagayan na ng danger? Nalinis rin ni Mayor Lacson noon ang Manila, hindi po ba? Nawawala rin ang mga criminal? Nalinis rin ni Lee Kuan Yew ang ‘Triad’ sa Singapore?

    Ike Eisenhower: ‘A president much have balls.’

    • Tatlo tatlo pa nga daw ang balls niya. Kaya sobrang sobra. Ang isa ay para sa mga chicks. Ang isa ay para sa mga komunista.

      Ano kamo? Mawawala ang mga kriminals? Mawawala ba ang mga komunistang salot sa ating lipunan na pumapatay sa ating mga sundalo, pulis at mamamayan? Nope. I truly do not think so. Pag si Duterte ang nanalo, pasok na sila sa malacanang. Sigaw ni Duterte “Mabuhay ang NPA.” Mabuhay ang mga bobotante. Malamang ay patay ang bansang Pilipinas at mamamayang Filipinos pag nagkataon.

    • Hahaha. Siguro tulog ka lagi sa Latin class mo before, if u had any. Carpe is the second-person singular present active imperative of carpo (pick or pluck). Diem is the accusative case of the noun “dies” (day). Carpie diem is tranlated “sieze the day”

  32. I may not always agree with you-but in this article-Your analysis is crystal clear. Telling it simply as it is. We might be go from the frying pan into the fire