DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/22 April) — Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Dutete said he won’t mind losing the presidential election due to the backlash created by his statement on the rape of an Australian missionary in 1989.
In a press conference Thursday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, Duterte said the criticisms, some coming from his rivals, could not make him change who he is or even his “dirty mouth”.
“I do not care if I lose the presidency. I have my own identity in this planet. Do not ask me to change. I am Rodrigo Duterte, a creation of God. I will follow my destiny, I don’t give a s**t,” he said.
Brushing aside rumors he was quitting the presidential race, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan standard-bearer said: “Life is never fair. Ang problema who will take care of law-abiding and God-fearing people from drugs and criminality?”
He also lashed out at progressive women’s group Gabriela who criticized the tough-talking mayor over [his] “rape joke”.
Duterte revealed the city built a P31-million facility that houses women and young children who are victims of incest but was not made known to public to protect the identities of the victims.
“I have a P31-million facility to take care of young girls. These are victims of incest, or those raped by father, brother, or uncles. May iba buntis, mangaganak na (Some of them are pregnant and about to give birth,” he said.
Duterte said Davao is the first city in the country to pass a Women Development Code, which upholds “the rights of women and the belief in their worth and dignity as human beings and recognizes women as full and equal partners of men in development and nation building and men shall share equally with all forms of productive and reproductive activities.”
“Yang cash crusaders hindi ninyo alam, you remember my cuss words I uttered when I was angry, the office of the mayor provides lawyers for women who are battered by husbands,” he said.
He challenged political foes to go check the city’s services for women “and you cannot compare this city to their city at all. Beside the facility, there’s also a facility for seniors, there’s doctor who will attend to you until you die. Cash crusaders pera pera lang kayo.”
“I was narrating, not joking… You Garbriela are the jokers,” he said.
On the allegation of administration bet Mar Roxas that he and his team was harassed by the New People’s Army in one of his sorties in Mindanao, he denied any involvement in it saying he is not a member of the group.
“Alam nya Left ako. Hindi ba nya alam na Bayan ako? Natural mga bata-bata ko syempre politika ito. Bahala ka sa buhay mo, bakit ka tumakbo ng presidente. I am Bayan, that’s why I raise my fist, but I am not a communist. I am not a member of New People’s Army nor the Communist Party. That’s too far in the Left… Left og center lang kami mga socialists, programa pantao. I do not dream of building bridges, tao muna,” he said.
If he wins as president, he said infrastructure project will have to take a backseat except for Manila due to traffic congestion.
He added he will provide more money for agriculture, education, and health.
Duterte, who maintained a lead in the recent presidential surveys, said the people are desperate for change in government.
“They want to listen to somebody who would say ‘change government. Desperation is the driving thing,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)