Will this change with the new Duterte controversies?
AFTER previous denials of his intent to join the race to Malacañang, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has finally declared his candidacy for the presidency His supporters who’ve been waiting for this moment rejoiced, saying “the eagle has landed” and pinning hopes that Duterte is the leader the country needs during this page in Philippine history.
Politicians, businessmen, and ordinary Filipinos have jumped ship from the camps of Roxas, Binay, Poe and Santiago to declare their all-out support for the Duterte campaign. They contend that Duterte is the candidate who can bring about real change. Unlike past presidents and his current political rival, they admire Duterte for being a straight talker and a strong leader who has been instrumental to Davao City’s progress, peace and order.
Even some Fil-Ams have been energized by Duterte’s bid for the presidency. In The Filipino Channel’s daily newscast “Balitang America,” an online poll revealed that Duterte is now tied with Mar Roxas, as the top two candidates kababayans in America would vote for if the elections were held today, surpassing Binay, Poe and Santiago.
But would the dynamics change with the latest controversy about Duterte, whom his critics say has gone too far with his language and style, to the point of using the “P.I.” curse on Pope Francis?
As ABS-CBN News reported, Duterte came under fire for cursing at Pope Francis after he allegedly got caught in a traffic jam during the Catholic leader’s visit in the Philippines in January. Duterte himself said a friend told him that the traffic jam was caused by the Pope’s arrival, ”Gusto kong tawagan, ‘Pope p******.”
Duterte reportedly later denied cursing Pope Francis. However, he maintained that he would still not invite the Pope Francis back to the country if he becomes president.
The blunt Davao City mayor was also criticized for flaunting that he has two wives and two mistresses, contending that his possible presidency won’t change that. Worse, he would even give details about his sexcapades with women, offending those who say he sounds like he just sees and treats women as objects.
Others have expressed concern over his “dictatorial tendencies” in the way he implements changes, without respect and regard to due process and the rule of law.
Amid these criticisms Duterte said, “I don’t crave for ratings, I do not need praises, I will not die if I don’t become the president. If you don’t like my character, the solution is, do not vote for me.”
Would you vote for Duterte?
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Gel Santos Relos is the anchor of TFC’s “Balitang America.” Views and opinions expressed by the author in this column are are solely those of the author and not of Asian Journal and ABS-CBN-TFC. For comments, go to www.TheFil-AmPerspective.com, https://www.facebook.com/Gel.Santos.Relos