- In-Country Power
- International Power
- Military Strength
- Special Skill: Foulmouthed Filipino Firebrand
- Official Title: President
- Government: Well-established Democracy
- Years Left in Office: To 2022; re-election not possible
- Political Classification: Right
- Education: BA Political Science, LL.B. Law
- Age: 74 (born March 28, 1945)
Rodrigo Duterte Facts and Information
- 16th President of the Philippines; assumed office June 30, 2016.
- Domestic Policy is focused on combating illegal drugs by initiating the Philippine Drug War, promising to kill tens of thousands of criminals, and urging people to kill drug addicts.
- 86% approval rating; Violence and belligerence appear to pay off for Duterte!
- Serves as Chairman of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
- 71 years old and the oldest to serve as President of the Philippines
- Mayor of Davao City for 7 terms; Refused to be selected for the World Mayor Prize in 2010
- As Mayor of Davao, he formed the “Davao Death Squad; a vigilante group responsible for murders of hundreds of suspected drug dealers, petty criminals and street children. Duterte synchronously confirmed and denied his involvement in the Death Squad, “They are saying that I’m part of a death squad? True, that’s true.”
- Raised Catholic, Détente claims to have been sexually abused by a priest as a boy. As a result, he has scant regard for the teachings of the church. Despite this he believes God was responsible for his successful rise to power. “I tend to believe it was God who gave it to me.”
- He likes motorcycles, and owns a Harley, and boasted about patrolling the streets killing suspected criminals before he became president to “show police how it was done.”
“You’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky? ’Well, do ya punk?’ This is nothing short of what “Duterte Harry” would have the shrieked to the drug dealers of the Philippines. Duterte is known for not only sponsoring death squads, but also claiming to have led some himself! This motorcycle riding, vigilante of a president is also known for his foul language, even referring to Obama a “son of a whore.” To top it all off, he even cussed at the Pope. Despite his brash comments and continued threats to impose martial law, his approval rating is 86 percent. What the heck is going on in the Philippines?
Duterte’s rise to power must been a surprise for his strict parents, who were constantly punishing him for his behavior. His father, Vicente, served as governor of Davao for several terms and his mother Soledad was a school teacher. She was a strict disciplinary, who disciplined Rodrigo by making him kneel on the ground and pray for hours at a time. When his Mother got fed up with his staying out late, she employed a “Go ahead make my day” style of tough parenting and forced him to sleep in the shed. To this day Duterte carries around a blanket for comfort and can’t sleep without it.
Furthering his “Duterte Harry” image while in law school, he shot a student that bullied him. Fortunately, the classmate sustained only a minor wound to the leg. Unbelievably, Duterte was allowed to graduate. Following graduation from law school, despite his leftist views, he was hired as a prosecutor in Davao prosecuting political traitors.
Duterte is the first President to come from the island of Mindanao, home to the country’s large Muslim minority. In the past fifty years, tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced in Mindanao’s overlapping conflicts. Before being elected President, he was the major of Davao city for 22 years. During his reign as major, he kicked so much “bad guy” ass that Davao went from being the crime capital of the Philippines to one of the safest cities in South East Asia. He might even be the only world leader to beat Vladimir Putin in the match of bare knuckle boxing! Of course, Duterte publically challenged Trump to a fist fight after Trump called for restrictions on immigrants from the Philippines and other countries.” Addressing Trump directly, Duterte said, “If you are too scared to come to Manila, I can come meet you in Las Vegas, at the Trump Towers or at the MGM Grand Arena.” In fact very open for his affection and admiration of, even calling Putin is “idol” and “hero”, talk of Western hypocrisy. He brags that he is “similar to Putin because of their shared passion for guns and women.”
How does one understand this rise in power of this populist demagogue? His rise can be understood as part and parcel of a broader appeal as an alternative to traditional presidential candidates. His unorthodox demeanor appealed to many Filipinos, despite testing the limits of so-called “civilized” behavior. The centerpiece of campaign was law and order by use of force by combining the power of the Philippine National Police and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Despite his wild youth, he imposed a curfew on minors of 10:00 pm and drinking in public after 1:00 am.
Duterte does not, as he has put it, “give a shit” and is hypersensitive to criticism, especially when it comes to the media. He told reporters, “Don’t f—- with me.” When a journalist asked Duterte what he would say if President Barack Obama raised the issue of human rights, his response “You know, the Philippines is not a vassal state,” he replied. “We have long ceased to be a colony of the United States.” He even went so far as to call political figures “gay.”
This Duterte-mouthed leader refused to apologize for his utterly revolting comments regarding the rape and murder of an Australian missionary “I was angry she was raped, yes, that was one thing. But she was so beautiful; I think the Major should have been first. What a Waste.” He defended his habit to use expletives as simply “gutter talk. ”
Duterte is currently single (divorced) with three adult children, Paolo, Sarah, Sebastian. Duterte’s daughter, Sara, is the mayor of Davao City, and his eldest son, Paolo, is vice-mayor. His younger brother, Benjamin, has served as a city councilman.
For the Filipinos, Duterte’s lack of formality seems to make him much more relatable to them than the Manila elite, no matter how chilling his statements, for many he is an authentic leader true to his words. He has fierce and loyal supporters will blame media character assassinations. While his solutions to solve crime are disturbing to most, bottom line is that tens of millions of Filipinos elected him to implement death squads to fight crime, drugs and corruption. In fact, “Duterte Harry’s” war on drugs has claimed at estimated 2,446 lives, or 39 people per day, in only his first two months in office.
Seriously, these are real….Despicable Duterte quotes:
“Son of a whore. I will curse you [Obama] in the forum.”
“Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there is three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them.”
“It’s good I didn’t join the priesthood or else now I would be a homosexual.”
“If you know of any addicts, go ahead and kill them yourself as getting their parents to do it would be too painful.”
“I don’t give a s*** about anybody observing my behavior.”
“There was this Australian lay minister ... I saw her face and I thought: Son of a bitch. What a pity ... they raped her, they all lined up. I was mad she was raped but she was so beautiful. I thought, the mayor [me] should have been first,”
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