Many still do not know the character and personality of presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Behind his strong and sometimes intransigent persona seen in public is a compassionate, sincere and principled man.
I have known Mayor Duterte as a public official probably the most than anyone, having served him as chief of staff while he was still an appointed vice mayor in 1986 – a good 30 years ago.
Add another year or 2 when he was a prosecutor trying to lock me behind bars of the martial law regime because I joined the anti-Marcos dictatorship mass movement.
I have seen him take the risk and take the road less traveled by in the course of his dedicated public service. I can swear to God – the way I took my priestly vows – that he has not taken advantage of his position to enrich his self or any member of his family.
Every single centavo of the money of the people of Davao City were well spent, every resources well allocated, distributed and disbursed and used.
One thing he is intolerant of are the recidivist and incorrigible deviants – felons and criminals. He hates them. He most especially hates persons who discriminate, take advantage and assault vulnerable sectors of our society – the lumads, the minority, the disabled, the people with different gender preference and most especially women.
For all his much talked about womanizing ways, he has a very soft heart towards women who are assaulted, raped and killed. I can count to you how many rape cases he personally attended to and take with extreme unction.
His ‘little town’ reputation, unguarded and unrehearsed manners may offend those who are taught how our national leaders should act, behave and speak. They may find him uncouth, abrasive, and even repulsive. Because that is how the elitists are trying to impose their myopic rules on all our people. Duterte is not in this elitist circle and he is definitely out-of-the-box.
But by God, he is the most sincere, simplest but dedicated leader I have ever worked with. He inspires people who knows him very well. For that, I will not exchange him for anyone else in the country. I urge his believers and supporters to remain steadfast amid the new challenges he and us are facing. Have faith in the man who already proved that he will place the interest of the people ahead of his.
Even putting his own life on the line. In 3 weeks, we will decide if Mayor Duterte’s selfless dedication deserves to be reciprocated. I urge you to rally behind, vote for him and protect those precious votes. A vote for him is a vote for tomorrow and the future of your children our next generation.