Duterte: Filipinos not yet ready for my leadership style

‘If you’re carrying a gun and I tell you to drop it, and you don’t drop it, I won’t even count,’ says Duterte

DUTERTE STYLE. Davao City mayor and a favorite in surveys for president interacts with Navotas residents during a visit on September 8, 2015. Photo by Naoki Mengua/Rappler

DUTERTE STYLE. Davao City mayor and a favorite in surveys for president interacts with Navotas residents during a visit on September 8, 2015. Photo by Naoki Mengua/Rappler

DUTERTE STYLE. Davao City mayor and a favorite in surveys for president interacts with Navotas residents during a visit on September 8, 2015. Photo by Naoki Mengua/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Still deflecting hopes he will run for president in 2016, Rodrigo Duterte said on national television, “The people of the Philippines are not ready for my kind of style.”

Three days after announcing he is out of the presidential race, the Davao City mayor granted an interview to TV5 and other media groups under the Manuel V. Pangilinan group of companies on Thursday, September 10.

Asked if he would regret his decision given all his hopes for the country, he said his service to Davao City is enough for him.

“If I would rate my service to Davao City from 1 to 10, I’d give myself 6-and-a-half. I’m okay with that. The people of the Philippines, they are not ready for my kind of style. There are things we have to do because nobody else can do this for us,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

But he did not end the interview without a tease.

Asked if his decision was final, he said: “Masama ang magsalita nang tapos sa mundong ito.” (It is wrong to speak as if all is decided in this world.)

‘Pag walang takot sa batas walang mangyayari dito. Look at your national capital, look at the garbage, look at the hospital. The human garbage is there. And it’s a capital. Where is your money? Now look at Davao.’

He followed it up by saying, jokingly to a lady broadcaster, “It’s only really God who can tell us whether, for example, ‘You ma’am will get married two years from now.'”

Duterte also confirmed that he and PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) president Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III spoke the previous night until 3 am about 2016.

The party, which shares Duterte’s passion for federalism, still hopes he will run.

State of Metro Manila

Priorities for the Philippines, the state of Metro Manila, and his alleged human rights violations were among the topics discussed during the interview.

If he were among the presidential candidates, Duterte said he would focus on 3 things: crime, corruption, and infrastructure.

He said that the number one problem of mayors in the country is drugs and the social ills that come along with them.

Fixing the infrastructure, such as railways and highways, would improve the country’s economy by allowing importation, exportation and other economic activities to proceed more efficiently.

He could also not help but compare Metro Manila, where the national president sits, with the Davao City he helped build.

Pag walang takot sa batas walang mangyayari dito (When no one fears the law, nothing will happen here). Look at your national capital, look at the garbage, look at the hospital. The human garbage is there. And it’s a capital. Where is your money? Now look at Davao.”

Duterte had something to say about traffic in the mega city, which has been a sensitive issue for many in the past months.

The “obvious” problem, he said, is the number of vehicles being sold and ending up in the streets.

‘If you’re carrying a gun and I tell you to drop it, and you don’t drop it, I won’t even count.’

Yung mga mayaman, ilan ang kotse ninyo? Ikaw, asawa mo, may 3 anak ka. Kung color-coded, bumili ng bagong kotse para may reserba kang kotse,” he weighed in.

(The rich, how many cars do you own? You, your spouse, you have 3 kids. If it’s color-coded, you buy a new car so you have a reserve car.)

Exploding balls

Duterte obliquely answered questions on his connection to “executions” of criminals and the supposed Davao Death Squad.

He narrated that in his first 3 months as mayor, he had to deal with the hostage-taking of a girl in Cotabato.

The hostage-takers had arranged a meet-up to exchange the girl for the ransom money.

“I was tipped off. I was there when they brought the ransom money. I finished it there,” he said.

But he clarified that certain “circumstances” would have to be present to justify such killings without a trial.

“If you’re carrying a gun and I tell you to drop it, and you don’t drop it, I won’t even count,” he said.

He made fun of the 1,000 executions supposedly linked to him by a Human Rights Watch report, calling the number “cheap.”

But summing it up, being Christian, he said he would wait for “Judgment Day” when “[God] will come to judge the living and the dead.”

The feisty mayor, who ignored a request by TV5 not to curse during the interview, also confirmed reports that he had forced a smoking tourist to eat a cigarette butt.

Contradicting a statement by his own spokesperson, Duterte said he threatened to shoot the tourist if he did not abide by his city’s smoking ban.

He said he told the tourist, “Papasabugin ko ang dalawang bayag mo (I will make both your balls explode).” – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada
Published 5:31 PM, September 10, 2015
Updated 5:44 PM, September 10, 2015