Duterte For President 2016: What Are His Plans For The Philippines?

Screen capture c/o Rappler.

Although candidates for the 2016 Presidential Elections in the Philippines have begun announcing their intentions to run for some time now, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte had until now been a bit fickle about whether he would be running for president or not. So, it may or may not have surprised you on Sunday when Duterte finally cleared up all speculation and officially announced his presidential bid in next year’s polls.

While Rodrigo Duterte has many supporters who have been urging him to run in the election for months, the reason that he finally decided to throw in his bid comes as a surprise to some. Duterte stated that he was running on a matter of principle because the Senate Electoral Tribunal case against another presidential hopeful, Grace Poe, had thrown out the case to disqualify her.

Despite the case against Poe being thrown out, Duterte believes that she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen and when announcing his decision to run, he said, “What made me decide to run? Was it an offer for money? No… I have nothing against Grace but if you run for the highest post in the land… it must be reserved for a true-blue Filipino.”

Running with Duterte for the Vice Presidential seat will be Senator Alan Peter Cayetano. Cayetano announced the partnership on Saturday with a Facebook post that said “Change is Coming!”

Having been in government for more than 30 years, Rodrigo Duterte has held the position as mayor of Davao City on and off since 1988, when the city was still known as the “Nicaragua of Asia” due to the instability, uncertainty, and chaos that trademarked Davao at the time.

Although restoring law and order and promoting peace in Davao seemed to be a nearly impossible task, Duterte was so successful during his first term that he was elected for two more consecutive terms, which made him the city’s longest serving mayor ever.

The Philippine constitution prohibited him from being elected for a fourth consecutive term during the period of 1998 to 2001, but he continued to serve Davao as its Representative for the First District of Davao City until 2001 when Duterte was once again eligible to run and was re-elected as the city’s Mayor.

Under Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership, Davao City has come to be known as one of the safest cities in the world. However, this doesn’t come without accusations and it is widely believed that Duterte is linked to a group of vigilantes known as the “Davao Death Squad” who have performed extrajudicial killings of criminals in the city and are believed to be responsible for more than 1,000 people disappearing between 1998 and 2008.

If elected as President of the Philippines, Duterte has made promises of spreading Davao’s level of safety throughout the rest of the nation. He has promised a “comfortable country” where “you can go out at night and you don’t have to worry about your children.”

Duterte even claims to have visions for improving the infamous Philippine traffic problems, stating that the current traffic is largely due to unchecked purchasing of cars and that it will no longer be the case if he becomes president.

Whether Duterte’s accomplishments in Davao will be able to carry over to the rest of the Philippines remains to be seen, but the current Mayor Rodrigo Duterte made it clear that as a president, he would not be stopped, not even by a “corrupt congress” and said “Because I have to solve so many problems, stop f**king me… If you want me to do it, then I’ll do it, but in my way.”

Read also: Obama Is First Sitting President To Grace Cover Of LGBT Magazine.

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About the author

Janessa is a gamer, a bookworm, an animal lover and a self-proclaimed foodie. She is passionate about everything that she does and hopes that it will come across in her writing.