Philippines presidential race: Duterte vows to resign if can’t rub out criminals, corruption
MANILA–Tough talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte vowed to resign if, once elected Philippine President, he fails to fulfill his promise of eradicating criminality including corruption in the government in three to six months from his assumption in office.
“I ask for three to six months and I will finish them,” Duterte said Wednesday during a symposium at the De La Salle University in Manila for the event #TheLeaderIWantForum2016.
Duterte said there is a “great disorder” in the country today which makes him “really worried.
“The condition of the country is very disorderly. The people have no sense of security,” he said.
“Even the government itself is an oppressor,” Duterte said.
Duterte, known for his colorful speeches peppered with curse words is criticized by human rights groups for tolerating extra-judicial killings. Activists have expressed fears that an estimated 1,000 persons summarily executed since 1990 could balloon to 100,000 if he becomes president.
As a mayor, Duterte patrolled his area at night posing as a cab driver surprising unsuspecting passengers. He said he wanted to catch robbers and kill them.
In a recent radio interview, he was asked if it is true that he threw a drug lord out of a helicopter.
He said “no one saw that.”
Last year, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) conducted a case build-up on the Davao Death Squad (DDS), a vigilante group allegedly headed by Duterte which is responsible for the extra-judicial killings in his area.
Amid the investigation and government claims of a witness against the mayor, Duterte said given the opportunity, he will kill all criminals and throw them in Manila Bay.
“Makikita nyo, tataba ang mga isda sa Manila Bay [You will see, the fish at the Manila Bay will get bigger],” said Duterte.
He dared his accusers to charge him court. To date, however, no case has been filed against him.
During the symposium at the De La Salle University, Duterte said he has to make good on his promise or he will be stinky and lose his credibility.
His running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said he will resign with Duterte if, in six months after they assume office, the public still don’t feel safe walking outside.
“If within six months, you do not feel safe walking outside, he will resign and I will join him,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano said Duterte should be given the opportunity to be president even for six months.
“Support this man, he will not disappoint you,” he said.
He added that the peace and order problem in the Philippines is holding back the country’s growth.
Duterte is one of the five known candidates in the Presidential race. Other candidates are Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, former Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and former Ambassador Roy Señeres.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is reviewing a total of 23 candidates for who want to run for the presidency. The list is expected to be trimmed down within the week.
Final printing of ballots will be in February.