It was the turn of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be on the hot seat of Wanted: President, GMA Network’s special series on the presidential election.
In the February 7 episode, news anchor Mel Tiangco opened with a pointed question about Duterte’s sharp tongue.
The politician said curse words are natural to him.
He explained, “Pangkaraniwan kasi sa Bisaya ‘yan, e.
“Not yung Tagalog na P.I., pero yung yawa, yawa is devil.
“Yung tatay ko, he was a very civil man, ‘Anong pangalan ng yawang ‘yan? Ganun.”
He also said in his defense, “I do not have a civil mouth, I talk epithets, curses kasi ako pag galit, lumalabas sa ano.
“Because I have every reason to be mad at the world, at the way the Philippines is handled now.”
FIRST LADY. Duterte’s 27-year marriage with Elizabeth Zimmerman ended in annulment in 2000. They have three children: Paolo, Sara, and Sebastian.
He now lives with Honeylet Avancena, a nurse with whom he has one daughter, Veronica.
Tiangco asked Duterte who then between the two women will be his First Lady.
“Yung first wife na lang, marami namang kuwarto diyan.”
The veteran news anchor asked was he serious, was he joking?
Duterte did not quite answer.
“Early on, it was Inday [his daughter Sara] who volunteered, she wants to be the First Lady.
“Since she is the top honcho sa pamilya namin, she’s the alpha of the family,” he said.
Inday Sara served as Davao City mayor from 2010 to 2013.
She was embroiled in a controversy in 2011 when she punched a local sheriff for the demolition of shanties in an impoverished community.
Negative issues also beset the presidential candidacy of Duterte, deflecting them if somewhat in a vague way.
He said, “I am not into religiosity, but I have always said that I have a deep and abiding faith in the universal law.
“I believe that there is a universal mind watching over the universe.
“What you plant, what you sow. You will reap it.”
BLOODY TOUGH. In earlier speeches, Duterte promised that if he gets elected, he will eradicate crime in six months.
If he fails, he should be killed, he declared.
Duterte said he was just talking in metaphors, “Figure of speech ’yan.
“Meaning to say I have to deliver or I will go kaput.
“I will lose credibility, that’s what it means, hyperbole lang ‘yan.”
But his tough anti-crime stance still stands.
“Presidente ako, tumahimik ka, huminto ka.
“You are committing a crime in my presence, iniinsulto mo ako, you better stop it.”
He also promised a bloody crime-fighting campaign.
“Mamili ka, it’s your choice.
“If I go against the criminal syndicates, if I go against crime, if I go against drugs, do not expect pristine and white environment.
“It could be bloody, may dugo diyan, may patay diyan.
“Let us not joke with each other, you must be up to it in fighting crime,” he said.
SHOOTIST. He related an incident in Davao where he himself shot down the kidnappers of a female child.
“Inabangan ko talaga sila, we delivered the money, I was waiting for them.
“When they got down… pinara ko sila.
“Ang una kong nakita was a carbine, the barrel of a gun.
“So I fired, with four other policemen.”
However, he does not advocate extra-judicial killings.
“Kung magtanong ka, extra-judicial patayan, di ko ginagawa ‘yan.
“Meaning to say, there is a helpless criminal, his hands tied behind his back, kneeling down, I will shoot him?
“That’s crazy, walang lalaking gumaganon ng ganun.”
Duterte stressed that he will only kill criminals in “performance of duty.”
Tiangco countered that policemen should make an effort to catch the criminals instead of killing them outright.
“I will not order that, it puts your life in jeopardy, pinapasubo mo ang pulis,” Duterte answered.
LAW ABIDING. Duterte asserted he is a law-abiding citizen.
He said, “I cannot govern the country without following the law.
“If I break the law and everybody follows, then we will have chaos.
“And maybe anarchy in this country,” he said.
Furthermore, he said he supports the anti-dynasty law but doubts its implementation because most of the legislators are against it.
“This country is controlled by the ruling elite, so they’d want their children to perpetuate the family name.
“Ito ngang si Inday ayaw, e.”
FEDERALIST. Duterte also favors federalism, a type of government that divides a country into several self-governing states.
He said he sees federalism as the means to end the violence in Mindanao.
“Because they are asking for it,” he explained, “You should concede a certain amount of intelligence to the Moro people.
“There are as many bright Muslims as there are in the Christian side.
“‘Yan ang gusto nila, and that is the way where we can grant, concede to them.
“Pag autonomy… they will be happy, give control to the locals.
“They should know how to spend their own money.”
GOVERNANCE ISSUES. Duterte also supports the death penalty, “We have killed so many in the past.
“I don’t see any reason why we should should stop killing the criminals who have killed the innocent citizens.
“‘Pag sinabi ng Diyos na an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, it simply means buhay for buhay.”
To solve traffic, Duterte thinks the solution is to “add a lot of trains and promote mass transit.”
He also champions lowering of income taxes.
On disputes over maritime boundaries and shipping rights in South China Sea, Duterte advocates cooperation to avoid going to war with China.
His solution, “Hati na lang tayo, tutal, nobody claims the piece of property there.
"Then with joint exploration, ikaw yung mag-kapital.
“Maybe we can also have ours, whatever you want us to do,” he said.
At the end of the interview, Duterte reiterated his promise to eradicate criminality.
“If you want a civil and clean mouth, go to them [his opponents].
“But if you want a bad mouth who can deliver the things that I promise, I will do it.
“Three to six months, criminality, drugs, and specially corruption.
“Pag sinabi ko sa gobyerno, hinto kayong lahat,” he said.