Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte
Image Source: davaotoday.com
[box type=”default” size=”large”] Repeats his threat to kill suspected smuggler [/box]MANILA – Tough-talking Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has shrugged off calls for him to run for President in 2016, saying he is not qualified for higher public office.

A clamor for him to run for the position of the Chief Executive of the land was aired recently after Duterte testified at a Senate committee hearing on rice smuggling during which he issued another one of his in-your-face threats, this time directed at alleged big-time rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan, also known as David Tan.

“If this guy goes to Davao City and starts to unload smuggled products, I will … gladly kill him. I will wait for him outside,” Duterte said in a room full of senators and other officials, including Secretary of Justice Leila Delima around.

While the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) and the Palace frowned on Duterte’s daring remarks, these earned for the macho mayor  brownie points from people who were too glad to hear him say he would be willing to go to jail for love of country.

Social media accounts, which abound shortly after Duterte’s words against criminals were posted, urge the feisty official to run in the 2016 presidential elections. They believe Duterte could be the “less talk, more action” kind of official who could turn the country better.

But no amount of prodding and promises of votes would make the mayor aspire for the presidency, a suggestion he had repeatedly dismissed.

“I am not interested in becoming President or Vice President or even a senator or a secretary of any department. I am not qualified for these positions. I will aspire only for what I can be, I will not dream of what I cannot be,” Duterte stated in his Facebook account last year.

He said he is aware of the constant online prodding of people for him to run, but insisted that the presidency does not appeal to him at all.

“Lumalabas na sa mga website eh, Duterte for president. You must be crazy. I said I am not interested to become president. I am not qualified to be president,” he stated on Facebook.

Duterte said if he becomes the President, he himself would declare a revolution and rebel against his own government and close down everything.

He has a Bachelor of Arts degree which he obtained from the Lyceum of the Philippines in 1968. He finished law at San Beda College in 1972 and in the same year he passed the bar exam.

Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor of Davao City after the 1986 People Power Revolution. He was elected mayor two years later and served in that capacity in the next 10 years. As mayor, he designated deputy mayors representing the Lumad and Moro people in the city government, a move that was later copied in other parts of the country.

In 1998, Duterte ran for the House of Representatives and won as congressman of the 1st District of Davao City.

In 2011, he ran again for mayor in Davao and won for his fourth term. He was re-elected in 2004 and in 2007.

In 2010, he was elected vice mayor. His daughter, Sarah Duterte-Carpio, was elected mayor.

The public remembers Duterte as the mayor who disguised himself as a taxi driver to see for himself the situation in his city and to get his hands on muggers.

Duterte is also the mayor who defended his shoot-to-kill-order against 10 kidnapping suspects in July last year. He said his order was “legal, proper and moral.”

Without fear, Duterte also lambasted CHR Chairperson Loretta Rosales after she criticized his “unethical” remarks against smugglers in his city.

“Point out to me a law which I cannot threaten the criminals. Shut up,” Duterte told Rosales.

Duterte has also criticized Justice Secretary Delima. He said Delima kept talking about David Tan and the investigation of rice smuggling only for publicity.

“Stop talking and start working,” Duterte said.

But despite strong public approval of his bold statements and actions, Duterte is adamant to throw his hat in the presidential ring. (With MB report)

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