Duterte’s out-of-the-box campaign goes viral

Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - December 14, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A three-minute video of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte showing a different and surprising side of the tough-talking mayor is making the rounds of social media a few weeks after he confirmed his intention to run for president in the 2016 elections.

The video, taken from an exclusive interview with dzRJ radio – media partner of The STAR – showed the softer side of Duterte, appealing to the people to help him because he has meager campaign funds.

Duterte asked housewives and the youth to make campaign T-shirts for him. He also asked carpenters to make billboards out of wood scraps.

“Kayong mga kabataan at housewives na lang ang gumawa ng mga  posters ko. Kayo na lang ang magtahi ng mga T-shirts ko para sa kampaniya natin, kayong mga karpentero na lang ang mag-tayo ng  billboards ko, kahit na galing sa mga scrap na lang,” he said.

Duterte, who topped the recent Metro Manila survey on presidential candidates, admitted that his machinery is not enough for the 2016 presidential elections compared to his fellow candidates who are able to pay show business talents to endorse their candidacies. 

Duterte explained that he is running for president because the people have become victims instead of beneficiaries of the government in the past six years.

“Yes, I’m running. It is my duty to do something even if it means leaving the comfort of my home and my beloved Davao. I cannot stand to see the ordinary Filipino neglected by the very structures and institutions of the government that were created to protect the people,” he said.

Duterte’s video, which was uploaded on the Facebook page of The Philippine STAR, has reached over 2 million Facebook users, has 500,000 views, over 2,000 comments, more than 65,000 likes and more than 39,000 shares as of 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

Most of the netizens were amazed by the humility that Duterte showed on the video, unlike his previous combative stance.

Facebook users Shiela Mae Alquizola and Jane Navarro Ballera said they believe in the principles of Duterte and that they are willing to help his candidacy so that the country could rise from poverty.

“I don’t want to listen to what other politicians are saying because I know they are just lying. This is the first time I became interested listening to politicians, and it is only to Duterte,” Ballera said.

Yolol Magallanes also said that for the “first time in history we could have a president without spending too much,” while Marc Anthony Jenisan assured Duterte that he would support his campaign without asking for any favor.

“Very touching campaign, tutulong kami sir kahit dito kami sa ibang bansa at asahan mong ikakampaniya ka namin,” said Gilbert Francisco, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who also expressed support for Duterte.

Duterte’s last three words in the video: “upakan na natin (let’s beat it)” also drew the attention of netizens. 

Among those who commented on the video was Duterte critic Marvin Landicho, who mocked the mayor’s message and wished his supporters good luck, saying that the Philippines will have nothing if Duterte wins in the 2016 elections.

In the video, Duterte also vowed to strengthen peace and order in the country if elected president next year.

He said that adequate police and military force is the key to successfully achieving peace and order in the country.

“The most important part in the security of our nation is to have an efficient and effective military and police. Therefore, we have to take care also of their welfare, but while waiting to perfect our system, we have to call upon our citizens to enforce the law,” he said.

“As president, I will enforce the law and I will have to instill discipline and that is the only way we can go forward in this country,” he added.

He would increase the salaries of teachers and minimum wage earners “so that they could work with pride.”

Duterte, standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said that all his projects could only be realized if the Filipino people support him.

Meanwhile, PDP-Laban secretary general Martin Diño said yesterday that Comelec officials were aware of the clerical error in the certificate of candidacy (COC) that he filed as presidential candidate for the 2016 elections.

Diño later withdrew his COC to give way to the party’s substitute presidential candidate Duterte.

He said the Comelec’s receiving clerk discovered the error where he mistakenly wrote that he was running for Pasay City mayor but a commissioner on duty gave the go signal to accept the COC because it’s just a clerical error and all other entries were in order.

Diño said a day after the filing of the COC the error was leaked to the media, which later became the basis of a complaint questioning the validity of the COC Duterte filed as PDP-Laban substitute candidate for president.

The Comelec legal department has filed a complaint accusing Diño of being a nuisance candidate, but the complaint was dismissed because he already withdrew his COC and named Duterte as substitute.

Former senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., a founding member of PDP-Laban, had said that the question on Diño’s COC is procedural and has no impact on the validity of the document. – With Perseus Echeminada

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