[box type=”default” size=”large”] Ahead of his closest rival by more than 5 million votes [/box]
MANILA — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has made history in the rough-and-tumble world of Philippine politics, becoming the first mayor to snatch the presidency since 1946.
President Aquino’s anointed candidate, Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas, conceded defeat Tuesday (May 10), joining Vice President Jejomar C. Binay and Senator Grace Poe in congratulating the tough-talking Duterte.
Before noon on May 10, Duterte had tallied 15,275,401 votes, way ahead of Roxas’s 9,202,785, and Poe, who was third with 8,555,671 votes.
Eleven people were killed on election day, and thousands were disenfranchised due to the defective automated election system.
Duterte had admitted responsibility for the murder of 1,700 people in Davao City during his stint at City Hall and vowed to kill 100,000 criminals when he takes over Malacanang on June 30.
His pledge had rattled Christians and Muslims alike who claimed that he apparently wants to kill due process and the rule of law as well, but the Davao City mayor has not budged an inch, purportedly telling the police and the military that they have “license to kill” suspected criminals “if they fight back.”
Moreover, Duterte earned the fury of women’s groups after he poked fun on the tragic death of Australian Protestant missionary Jacqueling Hamill in 1989, claiming that as Davao City mayor, he should have been first to ravish Hamill than the prisoners who took her and several others hostage.
This drew a quick response from the Australian and American ambassadors who said rape is rape and should not be treated as a funny incident.
Apparently, many people not only relished Duterte’s yarn about Hamill, including his fib that he killed 16 hostage-takers with the bullets from a single magazine of his Uzi, which a columnist disproved since the mayor was not in the area when the battle happened, but also believed him to be a “savior” out to liberate them from their poverty, render justice to those denied it and “free” them from the clutches of drug lords.
Duterte’s propaganda handlers transformed him into a superhero out to use a vacuum cleaner to extirpate any trace of crime in the 7,300 islands of the archipelago.
Shortly after the election, Duterte prayed and wept before the graves of his parents to seek guidance.
No one has yet to divine what Duterte means by his parliamentary and federal system of government since a parliamentary system refers to a government structure controlled by the party with majority of lawmakers.
This strongman is supposed to be more than an avatar of Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy, the “appointed son of God” and chief of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ in the foothills of Mt. Apo, since more than 15 million Filipino voters found him to be fit to lead the country.
They paid no heed to the findings of pyschologist Natalia Dayan, who conducted a psychological assessment of Duterte in 1998 in relation to an annulment case filed by wife Elizabeth Zimmerman and found him incapable of performing his role as a husband.
And Duterte can never be assured that his large margin of victory is a guarantee that trouble is not on the horizon.
Military officers speaking anonymously have accused him of conniving with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and the New People’s Army (NPA) in promoting armed struggle.
The CPP and NPA denied endorsing him, saying they do not believe the elections would change the rotten political system.