So you want to be president? A close look at those who want to lead: Rodrigo Duterte
(The Philippine Star) - May 6, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - To help voters make an informed choice in May, The Philippine STAR is conducting interviews with the presidential aspirants, in no particular order, depending on their availability in the heat of the campaign.

Meetings are hosted by The STAR in the newspaper’s office, with the editorial staff asking the candidates questions on a wide range of issues.

The recorded answers, portions of which can be viewed online, can be used as reference for campaign promises met or unfulfilled, goals achieved or changed.

To cover as many topics as possible, the candidates are requested to keep their answers brief, but three hours is still not enough to cover a presidential aspirant’s program of government. Space limitations also compel The STAR to condense the answers for publication. Still, even the brief answers provide useful glimpses into the platforms and plans of each candidate in case of victory.




CAMPAIGN SLOGAN: Tapang at Malasakit


•   Born March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte

•   Parents: Vicente Duterte (former governor), Soledad Duterte (teacher)

•   Children: Paolo (vice mayor), Sara Duterte-Carpio (lawyer),  Sebastian (businessman), Veronica (student)

•  Religion: Roman Catholic

•  Residence: 458 Taal Road, Central Park Subdivision,

   Bangkal, Davao City


•  Elementary: Sta. Ana Elementary School (1956)

•  Secondary: Holy Cross of Digos  (1968)

•  Undergraduate Course: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Lyceum of the Philippines University (1968)

•  Graduate: Bachelor of Laws, San Beda College (1972)


•  Special counsel, City Prosecution Office, Davao City (1977-1979)

• Assistant city prosecutor, City Prosecution Office, Davao City (1979-1986)

• Vice mayor, (OIC), Davao City (1986-1988, 2010-2013)

• Mayor, Davao City (1988-1998, 2001-2010, 2007-present)



I want to change the government system to federalism, since it is the only way to ensure development for Mindanao.

I will sustain the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) to provide food on the table.

I will solve crime, illegal drugs and corruption in the government within the first three to six months of my presidency.

Labor contractualization weakens the skills of the Filipino workers, so I oppose it. I will create jobs by reviving the industrialization of the Philippine steel industry.

I will have a simplified tax collection system and create “business islands” to generate employment.



• Credited for helping transform Davao into a clean, green, gender-sensitive and highly urbanized city;

• Cited for restoring and maintaining law and order in Davao and helping it to be recognized in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002 as the city in Region XI with Best Peace and Order by the National Peace and Order Council of the National Police Commission;

• Effectively implemented Davao’s no smoking ordinance in all public places, imposing hefty fines on violators;

• Implemented a stricter liquor serving and selling prohibition from 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. to reduce crimes caused by alcohol intoxication;

• Implemented the total firecracker and pyrotechnics ban since 2001 resulting in minimal or zero firecracker-related injuries;

• Pushed the Speed Limit Ordinance that only allows motorists to drive up to 30 kph in the downtown areas and a maximum 60 kph in the city border;

• Restricted videoke usage in public establishments up to 10 p.m. since 2004. The loud noise prohibition is part of Davao’s Anti-Nuisance Ordinance that applies to any place within the city including residential areas.,

NET WORTH: P23.5 million (2015 SALN), P21.9 million (2014 SALN)

TOP CAMPAIGN SUPPORTER: Pastor Apollo Quiboloy



KEY ADVISERS:   Consults with former Prime Minister Cesar Virata on economic matters because I am not an economic person.


• I offered BIR post to an ex-military man who is very honest but he refused.

• I want a professional airport manager, not ex-military man.

• I want Alan Peter Cayetano at DOJ or DFA.

• I want to appoint a very competent head of DOTC which is the most corrupt agency now.

• I plan to reorganize the DILG, possibly take out PNP from it and place it under me as commander-in-chief.


Why are you running?


I never wanted to run, which was why I did not file my certificate of candidacy on Oct. 15. But I saw that nobody was talking seriously about the country’s problems, especially in Mindanao. Some of the candidates could not even talk about criminality or corruption or illegal drugs. These are problems that need a firm decision and implementation of solutions.

What will be the role of your first lady?

She’ll cook for me, prepare the bed and put up the mosquito net.

How about projects, what advocacy will she push?

The first lady would have to feed the hungry children.

Short-term goals

I will start the ball rolling on federalism because that is the only form of government acceptable to the Moros. Short of that could lead to war. I will attend to drugs and criminality and corruption.

Long-term goals

More on economic programs. I will focus on small and medium businesses. I will task DTI to invest on SMEs so our graduates can have jobs. We will also establish regional economic zones, food terminals and post-harvest facilities.

Executive Order No. 1

Declaring criminality as an issue of national security and calling military into the helm. They are supposed to have police power,

so the president being the commander-in-chief

can take the lead.





Upon assumption, I will text all government officers “S-T-O-P” via text blast. Kung ayaw mo puntahan kita. Sabihin ko PI. Tapos sampalin ko. Kung gusto kita, sipain kita. I might also decide to be the very best statesman that the Philippines could produce.



In Davao, you are only given 72 hours to complete permits and clearances. 


You better shape up or else I will allow the entry of all. Service will be cheaper if there is competition, and it’s more efficient. If Germany decides to come in, fine. Establish your own network. If China and Japan do the same, OK. Our firms must improve services dramatically or they will find competitors here. 



It will take you until kingdom come if you fire them all. The judiciary problem is very hard. You have to talk to them. I have to admit that there is also corruption in the judiciary. I am a lawyer so I will be frank with them, the chief justice and everyone else. Sometimes the chief justice does not know everything. I’d rather appoint someone in his or her 60s. If I appoint a young CJ, it would be very difficult, much like our present SC chief.



Rehabilitate the rails, add more trains so we can have a system like the two-minute waiting time in Hong Kong.


We have to rehab everything. Travel taxes are supposed to be dedicated to repair. The problem is that previous administrations did not do their jobs. I want the head to be an airport manager, not a military man. We should pay the airport staff competitively, support them financially. Raise their salaries.


I will have to continue spending on that, but not in areas where corruption is widespread. I will use the money for agriculture.


If you invite the investors and outsiders, prices would fall dramatically. In Europe, the Germans and Scandinavian countries have almost perfected solar energy.


Charter change: Immediately, I will create a commission to educate people about federalism. Then maybe after six months I’ll try to figure out if we are ready for a constitutional convention, but it has to be in accordance with the process directed by the Constitution.

EDCA: We need it because of China.

Patronage politics: As a politician with a recurring term, you cannot go with it.

Reproductive health: I am for family planning in any form and the limiting to two or three children. But I am against abortion.

China/West Phl Sea: That it is ours, and if they do not want to return it, still that is ours. We are allied with the West. We will go along with them and their objection for bilateral talks with China. But if after one or two years nothing is moving and it’s still in the water and no way to push the sails, I will agree to talk to them (China). Do not talk about ownership because that is ours, and let us go back to the original agreement of joint exploration of gas.


Have you consulted a psychiatrist?

When you want to get a firearm in this country, you have to submit to a psychiatrist.

One psychiatrist report said you are a narcissistic anti-social?

That report I dispute because I never talked to the psychiatrist who wrote or submitted that report.

What is the state of the nation you are inheriting on June 30?

Not really in misery but in its normal course. Drugs are flooding the country, corruption is growing. We must not change rules to favor one over the other.

Relatively peaceful. If I succeed with federalism, then I can end corruption because it would be easily checked (under a federal system). A country that is, on a scale of one to 10, maybe I could improve it to 7. I’d be happy with that.

What is the state of the nation you are inheriting on June 30?

Not really in misery but in its normal course. Drugs are flooding the country, corruption is growing. We must not change rules to favor one over the other.

How do you see the country at the end of your term?

Relatively peaceful. If I succeed with federalism, then I can end corruption because it would be easily checked (under a federal system). A country that is, on a scale of one to 10, maybe I could improve it to 7. I’d be happy with that.


Encourage investments

I will create investment economic zones in almost all of the regions. Then I will allow complete freedom to get profits out. All I need are jobs. I’m not interested in so much taxes. Initially, only human resources.

Spur growth to catch up with ASEAN

We have to improve law and order in this country. You have to get rid of the kidnappers. Also, we have to reform taxation. Lastly, make it so that contracts we entered into cannot easily be revoked by the president. That’s what the president is there for, to honor the contract.

Reduce poverty/promote inclusive growth

The only way to do this is for people to have jobs. No job means no money. No money then the people suffer. The measure of growth is GDP. Are all your people working, do you have products to be sold? That is the backbone of the economy. We have to invite investors, invite the Chinese. They are so awash with money. They are willing to come in.

Improve quality of education

Nothing wrong with K-12 but it is just that our teachers must have seminars. They have to be at par with the teaching profession in the world. A teacher has to be attuned with the global environment and even the geopolitics of the country. You need somebody who is well-rounded. I was against it but a priest in Ateneo explained to me the benefits.

Make it easier to do business in the Phl

Curb corruption. Do not change the rules midway.

Promote tourism

We have to make it safe for them to go to Mindanao again and not be kidnapped. It is always a question of law and order.


Health care

Pagcor is where I would get the money for health. What I plan to do is we group three to five barangays which are not so populated and assign a doctor there. He will be the barangay doctor. Not everyone who is sick needs to be taken to hospital, but if there is a need for hospital intervention and machines, Pagcor money will be put away as a trust fund. I would request all hospitals, for the rich or for the poor, to go back to the practice of having an up to 30-bed facility, some kind of a charity ward and pay the hospitals with funds from Pagcor.

Tax reform

Give us time and we will come up with economic policies. But certainly, there are economic provisions in the law.

Role of the Church

No more. Why should they have a role when they asked people not to vote for me? I will not die if Catholics don’t vote for me.


Corruption and stagnation. We are really behind with anunderdeveloped economy and poor peace and order.



IncludE casinos in AMLA:      






Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani:                       



Same-sex marriage:                    



but needs legislation

Income tax cut:


Lift mining moratorium: 


Conditional yes

Freedom of Information:      


Creation of DICT                        



PHL joining TPP:                






Death penalty:                            


YES,for heinous crimes

Anti-dynasty law:                        



Anti-epal law:                              




Total gun ban except for security forces:               


Wang-wang FOR VIPs                









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