DAVAO CITY ( MindaNews / 05 June) — A heavy downpour on Saturday night cut short the speech of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, stranded thousands of supporters, and jacked up traffic during the “One Love. One Nation” thanksgiving party at the exit points of Davao Crocodile Park.
But in his 32-minute speech, Duterte warned druglords and the corrupt police that they would be killed and called on big mining firms destroying Mindanao to “stop” and go find other businesses elsewhere.
WARNING. President-elect Rodrigo Duterte delivers a 32-minute thanksgiving speech at the “One Love, One Nation” party at the Crocodile Park in Maa, Davao City Saturday night, June 4. The speech, still laced with expletives and warnings, was cut short due to the rains. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO.
Duterte, who arrived at 8:30 p.m. decided to stop right immediately after Veronica, his daughter with live-in partner Honeylet, approached him onstage and told him that it was already starting to drizzle.
Shortly after, a heavy downpour sent several supporters to take cover under the tents and huge trees while others were soaked in rain.
The president-elect is known for long, rambling speeches during public gatherings, mostly peppered with invectives about his frustration with governance.
In his thanksgiving speech, Duterte repeated previous pronouncements on his fight against crime and corruption and how he would prirotize health and education.
He said the country is losing “about 1.5 to 2 billion (pesos) a day” to corruption, money that could have gone to providing awardees of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program “farm implements and fertilizers and all.”
He spoke of the problems on rice importation and how the country has to “catch up and improve on everything” because “we are always at the mercy of other countries in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) business.”
He said he would commit “all of the earnings of PAGCOR (Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation)” to state-run hospitals for medicines and hospitalization needs.
DAY AND NIGHT. As day turned to night, thousands remained at the open field of the Crocodile Park to celebrate “One Love. One Nation” thanksgiving party on June 4, 2016 for President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, the first Mindanawon to become President. Duterte arrived at 8:30 p.m. and delivered a speech that was cut short due to the rains. MindaNews photo by TOTO LOZANO
“I will endeavor to build — if there are about 25 to 30 students in a barangay, then you will have a national high school. No need to walk for 20 to 30 kilometers to go to school. Ako na mismo magdala ng eskwelahan” (I will bring the schools to you).
He warned big mining firms that are destroying Mindanao to “stop” and said he would support small-scale miners who would organize into a cooperative “and give them give the instructions of how not to end up spoiling the land natin dito.” (see other story)
He urged three “corrupt” police generals in Camp Crame to resign before he assumes post on June 30 “because I will only humiliate you” and warned police personnel who faced charges that were dismissed that he would have these cases reviewed and would have them killed if they are still involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Before Duterte spoke, his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano delivered a message mostly centered on the “change” agenda of the incoming Duterte administration.
In the afternoon, several party-goers had to take shelter under the trees to protect themselves from the sweltering heat of the sun while some slept on the ground with torn boxes as mat.
It took several hours before vehicles could finally leave the venue as a major traffic jam occurred along the Diversion Road and the alternate exit point at Maa Road.
A parking space which can accommodate about 1,000 cars, was provided to party-goers at the Ciudad Verde, a property development project located within the Davao Crocodile Park, according to lead organizer Kat Dalisay.
Police Regional Office (PRO) 11 spokesperson Andrea Dela Cerna said the crowd estimate was placed at 300,000.
At least 600 artists from Mindanao and Manila also graced the 12-hour celebration, starting from 1 p.m. on Saturday until 1 a.m. on Sunday.
The artists who performed included, among others, Paolo Santos, Jimmy Bondoc, Thor Dulay, Tj Sarvida, and Gail Blanco, the artists who performed “Takbo” for Duterte’s campaign, The Voice Kids 2015 finalist Reynan Dal-Anay, Gladys Guevarra, Ivy Violan, and actress Sarah Lahbati.
In a text message to MindaNews, Dalisay said the artists performed at the thanksgiving party “for free.” or (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)