Duterte asks voters: Judge me by my deeds, not words

By: Doris C. Bongcac, Jose Santino S. Bunachita January 08,2016 - 01:35 AM
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte waves to supporters during his arrival at the Plaza Independecia for a town hall meeting. He was followed by running mate and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte waves to supporters during his arrival at the Plaza Independecia for a town hall meeting. He was followed by running mate and Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano. (CDN PHOTO/LITO TECSON)

At 70 years old, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he was not afraid to go to jail.

He candidly admitted he doesn’t go to Mass  either.

In yesterday’s press conference in Cebu City, Duterte asked voters to look beyond his shortcomings and focus on what he has to offer to the Filipino people.

“Judge me not by my words, not by my etiquette or curses.  Judge me for what I stand for,” he told reporters.

If elected president, Duterte promised to end the drug menace and criminality in three to six months.

“There will be killings, but I assure you there will be no extra-judicial killings,” he said.

His running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano agreed with Sen. Antonio Trillanes that it would be a “disaster” if Duterte wins.

But Cayetano said only the criminals, drug lords and corrupt officials will be in danger if Duterte does win.

“The only people who are afraid of Duterte’s leadership are those who benefit from corruption and unabated criminality. Mayor Duterte already made it clear. If you don’t want a peaceful country and a corrupt-free government, then don’t vote for him. If you want crimes and illegal drugs to thrive in our communities, then don’t support him,” Cayetano said.

Duterte and Cayetano were in Cebu yesterday to launch their “town hall meeting” program , an informal gathering where they  sit down and dialog with  different sectors along with a  “Tunog ng Pagbabago” concert held at Plaza Independencia.

“We not only believe in consensus but we believe that kamay na bakal (iron fist) will work if we listen to the people,” said Cayetano, who arrived ahead of Duterte during his noontime presscon.

Cayetano said his tandem with Duterte was far from being perfect, but they work in harmony because they believe in the country’s need for reform.

Duterte, at the press conference at 2 p.m., said he  will not accept donations from businesses and corporations doing business with government in order to fund his campaign.

Duterte also asked voters to listen intently even to every curse that comes from his mouth.

“Pakinggan ninyo yong mura ko.  (Liten to mys cuss words.) I even invite you to look at me and relate those words to my character.  Behind those words is the real agony and tragedy of the Filipino people,” he said.

After the press conference, Duterte and Cayetano proceeded to  Plaza Independencia for their town hall meeting

CEBU ROOTS

During the dialog,  Duterte said he considers Cebu as his land of birth since his family comes from Danao.

If he becomes president, Duterte  promised to issue a proclamation declaring a “Lapu-Lapu Day” in the country to honor the warrior who fended off Spanish colonizers.

He also said he would ask the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to rename the Lapu-Lapu  fish (grouper) to Magellan.

Duterte said that under his administration people can freely roam the streets again without worrying about lawless elements.

“Iuli nako ang paggamit sa dalan. Karon, ang mga durogista ug criminal (I will give back the use of our roads. Now, drug lords and criminals) have robbed us of our use of public places and streets,” he told the hundreds of supporters who gathered to hear him speak.

“I’m not a mayor for criminals. I’m a mayor for law-abiding citizens,” he said.

Duterte also bared  other plans, like pushing for federalism, doubling the salaries of police and army personnel and giving their children free education from kindergarten to high school.

He promised income tax exemption for those earning P20,000 and below and to stop contractualization of employees.

He also said he won’t hold government funds for himself aside from his salary.

Duterte said contingency or intelligence funds will be given to the proper agencies.

Duterte also praised Cayetano, saying he’s a very decent person and that they’ve known each other for a long time.

Duterte told the people that if they don’t vote for Cayetano, then they should not think of voting for him.

“If you give me a different vice president, they will definitely go after me,” he said in Cebuano.

He also openly admitted to the crowd that he’s a leftist and a socialist since he came from a poor family. But he assured that his administration will be for the people.

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