Duterte for president? ‘Crazy’

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Thursday, April 24, 2014


“I cannot dream of what I cannot be but I can only dream of what I can be.”

--Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte

WHEN a prospective candidate for president calls the idea crazy, as Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte did about the move to draft him in 2016, is he just being different or what?

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Most potential bets don't reject the chance to be president. But then Duterte is not an ordinary politician.

In a March 9 TV interview, he said "I will not run, you can't make me run." Last March 29, when a Duterte for President Movement held a rally in that city, he said nothing could persuade him. He didn't have P15 billion to P20 billion for the campaign and he couldn't see himself owing anyone or any group that would want post-election payback.

Duterte said he's not qualified and wouldn't fit into the usual matrix of presidents.

He recalled he had refused offers to head DILG, fearing he might shut it down along with the government.

Maybe, what has made Duterte shun the presidency is his totalitarian bent, the wish to ram down his agenda, to heck with legality, constitutionality or propriety.

Iron fist

He must know he couldn't run the country the way he has run Davao, with an iron fist that often casts aside "formalities and niceties" of law and order. He might make an efficient martial law administrator but not as leader of a republic and its assorted liberties.

Could he tell oppositionists he'd "gladly kill" them if they violated the law? Could he condone unsolved serial executions of crime suspects?

Not as president. Not with pretty much of the country watching.

(paseares@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 25, 2014.

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