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Duterte: If I win, better put up more funeral parlors

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte poses for a photograph with immigration officers at NAIA Terminal 2 upon his arrival from Hong Kong yesterday. RUDY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines - Put up more funeral parlors to accommodate drug pushers, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte yesterday said, warning of an iron hand should he become the country’s next president.

Duterte made the promise to eliminate the drug problem by making an example of drug syndicates.

“If I become president, I advise you people to put up several funeral parlor businesses because I am against illegal drugs… I might kill someone because of it,” Duterte said upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2 from Hong Kong.

He warned drug traffickers to leave the country or commit suicide instead of facing his wrath.

“If elected president of the Philippines, my priority is to stop criminality and corruption in the government,” Duterte said.

Duterte declared Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano would be his running mate in the 2016 elections.

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“He (Cayetano) is a good tandem and in the sense that we agreed to be in tandem,” he said.

Duterte also revealed he would file his certificate of candidacy (COC) before the Commission on Elections in Davao City on Dec. 10.

And then he remarked that if he does not show up during that day, “di wala ako (so I’m not there).”

However, he did not elaborate on how he could substitute for PDP-Laban candidate Martin Diño or OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Señeres.

Duterte apparently is facing legal obstacles in replacing Diño who had withdrawn his candidacy due to a defective filing of COC.

Señeres, on the other hand, maintained he would pursue his candidacy and would not give way to Duterte.

When asked if he had the financial resources to mount a national campaign, Duterte said it remains a problem for him.

“If I had money, then maybe I could have declared earlier my intention (to run for president),” he said.

Duterte said his running for the presidency gives the people more choices.

“If you want competent or expert in the government go for Mar (Manuel) Roxas, if you want a worker who knows how to run the government go for (Vice President Jejomar) Binay and if you want pure go for (Sen.) Grace Poe and of course there is (Sen.) Miriam Defensor-Santiago and of course, I am the last choice, but if I am not that important I might as well go home,” Duterte said.

“I am already tired, 30 years in the government and 12 years as a prosecutor, you have choices to pick up,” he said.

Duterte said he would seek permanent peace with the communist New People’s Army rebels and Muslim separatist groups in his presidency.

Duterte left for Hong Kong last Tuesday for a meeting with Cayetano.

Airport employees including immigration officials and personnel welcomed Duterte at the airport upon arrival. He was also swarmed by airport policemen and sales ladies from the Duty Free Shop as he went out of the customs area, where a female employee from a money changing shop gave him a peck on the cheek.

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