Here in Davao, our Mayor is Rodrigo Duterte, commonly known as “Rody”. Mayor Duterte is a law and order man, sort of a Dirty Harry (which is a nickname that he does have) for Davao City. Let me just say that no matter who you are, you would never want to do anything to end up on the wrong side of Mayor Duterte. Have no doubt about that, because being on his wrong side would not be a comfortable, or likely a safe place to be.
Duterte was Mayor of Davao during the 1990’s too, and then he ran up against term limits and could not run for re-election again. At that time Duterte ran for Congressman from Davao, and won quite easily. He served one term in Congress and returned to Davao again. All of the national politics bores him, from what I have heard. Anyway, he returned to Davao, even though he could have easily been re-elected to Congress, because he loves the City. As soon as he could, Duterte ran for another term as Mayor of Davao again. During Duterte’s campaigns for Mayor of Davao City, he generally gets 70 to 80% plus of the vote! He is quite popular in the City.
Last year, Duterte was elected to his final term as Mayor of Davao. He is again up against the term limit, and he has kind of made it clear that he won’t be seeking any terms in the future, and there have been rumors that he suffers from a number of health problems. During the last election, Mayor Rody’s daughter, Inday Sara Duterte became the first female Vice Mayor of Davao in history. Inday Sara is a tough law and order lady, perhaps even tougher than her father, and she is expected to be our next elected Mayor here in Davao, keeping the Duterte dynasty in power, even beyond her father’s time of serving the City.
One thing about Mayor Duterte, he is not known for mincing his words. Duterte says, and does exactly what he feel like, without regard as to how it will be taken by people. Mayor Rody has his own TV show, which is called “Gikan sa masa, Para sa masa” which translates to “From the masses, for the masses.” It is a weekly show in which he talks about local happenings, kind of gives his word on laws in the City, politics, etc. At one point in the show, letters from citizens are read, and the Mayor responds.
Last Saturday, I was watching the Mayor’s show, and one of the letters came from a local woman. She wrote in and told the Mayor that she gave birth to triplets in September of this year, and she doesn’t have money to buy milk for the kids. Often, when a letter along these lines comes in, the Mayor will give assistance to the writer, but you just never know for sure what he will do or say. When the Mayor responded to the woman who needed milk for her babies, I was shocked. He said:
Madam, you may want to consider a tubaligation! Just check with the City Health Office.
Wow, it floored me! In the Philippines, birth control is a very touchy subject, because the Catholic Church fights it stringently. Mayor Duterte didn’t mince any words on this issue, though!
I like to watch Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa, because it is 100% in Bisaya, so it gives me a chance to practice listening and understanding the language. Another thing that is entertaining is that since Duterte doesn’t mince his words, there are times when it seems like every other word is “bleeped” out by the censors, because it is not appropriate language for use on TV!
I am sure that in the comments a lot of talk will focus on some rather controversial things about Mayor Duterte. That’s OK, and it is probably deserved. As for me, sometimes I feel that the Mayor goes a little far, and from time to time I get to the point where I don’t care for his actions. But, overall, I like the man. For one thing, he turned Davao from being a very dangerous place where there was a lot of violence some 20 years ago, into what is often called the safest city in the Philippines. For that, I thank Mayor Duterte.