Thursday, September 22, 2016

Pres. Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte (born March 28, 1945), also known as Digong,is the 16th President of the Philippines, in office since 2016.He is the first Mindanaoan to hold the office, and the fourth of Visayan descent. Duterte was among the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines and was Mayor of Davao City, a highly urbanized city on Mindanao island, for seven terms, totalling more than 22 years. A lawyer and former prosecutor, he has also served as vice-mayor and as congressman for the city. Duterte's political success has been aided by his vocal support for the extrajudicial killing of drug users and criminals.Human rights groups have documented over 1,400 killings allegedly by vigilante groups occurring in Davao between 1998 and May 2016; the victims were mainly drug users, petty criminals and street children.Duterte denied any involvement in the said vigilante groups.In a January 2016 decision by the Office of the Ombudsman on the investigation conducted by the Commission on Human Rights on the alleged death squad in Davao between 2005 and 2009, the Ombudsman found no evidence to support "the killings attributed or attributable to the Davao Death Squad, much less the involvement of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte" to said acts. On May 9, 2016, Duterte won the Philippine presidential election, garnering 16,601,997 votes (39.01% of total votes cast, and 6.6 million votes ahead of closest rival Mar Roxas).His domestic policy has focused on combating illegal drug trade by initiating the Philippine Drug War. Following criticism from United Nations human rights experts that extrajudicial killings had increased since the election, he threatened to withdraw the Philippines from the UN and form a new organization with China and African nations.His administration has also vowed to pursue an "independent foreign policy" that would reject any meddling by foreign governments.

Early Life

Duterte was born on March 28, 1945, in Maasin (now the capital of Southern Leyte but was then part of the insular province of Leyte in the Philippine Commonwealth).His father was Cebuano lawyer Vicente G. Duterte and his mother was Soledad Roa, a native of Cabadbaran, Agusan, who was a school teacher and a civic leader of Maranao descent. Duterte's father Vicente, prior to being provincial governor of (the then-undivided) Davao province, was once an acting mayor of Danao, Cebu. Rodrigo's cousin Ronald, on the other hand, served as Cebu City mayor from 1983 to 1986. Ronald's father, Ramon Duterte, also held the position from 1957 to 1959. The Dutertes consider the Cebu-based political families of the Durano and the Almendras clan as relatives.Duterte also has relatives from the Roa clan in Leyte through his mother's side.Before they resettled to Davao, Duterte's family briefly lived in his birthplace in Maasin, Leyte, and in his father's hometown in Danao, Cebu, until he was four years old. The Dutertes initially moved to Mindanao in 1948 but still go back and forth to the Visayas until 1949.They finally settled in the Davao Region in 1950. Vicente as a lawyer engaged in private practice, while Soledad taught in public schools as a teacher. Mrs Duterte, however, retired as a supervisor in 1952 when her lawyer-husband entered politics there.

Education

Duterte went to Laboon Elementary School in Maasin, for a year.He spent his remaining elementary days at the Santa Ana Elementary School in Davao City, where he graduated in 1956. He finished his secondary education in the High School Department of the then Holy Cross College of Digos (now Cor Jesu College) in today's city of Digos in the now defunct Davao province, after being expelled twice from previous schools, including one in Ateneo de Davao University High School due to misconduct.At the tertiary level, he graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Manila. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda College of Law, still in Manila, in 1972. In the same year, he passed the bar exam. Duterte eventually became Special Counsel at the City Prosecution Office in Davao City from 1977–79; Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor from 1979–81; Third Assistant City Prosecutor from 1981–83; and Second Assistant City Prosecutor from 1983–86. Duterte claimed publicly to have shot a fellow student while in law school for allegedly bullying him because of his Visayan origins. His victim, however, survived, and although Duterte was prohibited from participating in the commencement march, he did graduate.

Early Political Career

After the 1986 People Power Revolution, Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor. In 1988, he ran for mayor and won, serving until 1998. He set a precedent by designating deputy mayors that represented the Lumad and Moro peoples in the city government, which was later copied in other parts of the Philippines. In 1998, because he was term-limited to run again for mayor, he ran for the House of Representatives and won as Congressman of the 1st District of Davao City (under the Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino coalition). In 2001, he ran again for mayor in Davao and was again elected for his fourth term. He was re-elected in 2004 and in 2007. Davao City under Duterte won the National Literacy Hall of Fame Award for being a three-time first-place winner in the Outstanding Local Government Unit, Highly Urbanized City category. In 2013, Davao City sent rescue and medical teams to Tacloban to give aid to the victims of Typhoon Haiyan, locally known in the country as Typhoon Yolanda. Financial assistance was also given to Bohol and Cebu for the earthquake victims. One article of Time magazine shows him patrolling in Davao City's streets on one of his big motorcycles, leading a convoy complete with blaring sirens and M16 rifles. Local news reports show him foregoing the pomp, opting to inspect in a regular taxi, surprising his would-be passengers. Though openly supportive of the killings of habitual drug users and dealers, Duterte used city government funds to build a ₱12-million drug rehabilitation and treatment center which provides 24-hour services. In 2003, he offered a ₱2,000 monthly allowance to drug addicts who personally approached him and committed to kick the habit. Duterte is also publicly known for visiting remote New People's Army camps negotiating peace transaction efforts and advocating diplomacy. Duterte was also the first mayor in the Philippines to give formal representation to the indigenous Lumad and Muslim community, designating deputy mayors to represent their interests in the local government. The anti-discrimination ordinance he mandated, was reportedly a response to news he received that Muslims were being discriminated against by real estate agents. In 2010, he was elected vice mayor, succeeding his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was elected as mayor. He has been offered the Interior Secretary post 4 times, by presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno S. Aquino III but rejected all of them. In April 2014, he also declined a nomination for the World Mayor Prize, given by an international body to outstanding mayors saying "he was just doing his job."[27] Among the other awards Duterte also refused to accept for Davao City include the one given by the American Cancer Society and the 2010 anti-smoking award in Singapore.

Law and Order

Through the support of Duterte, the City Council amended ordinance No. 1627, Series of 1994, to impose a prohibition on selling, serving, drinking and consuming alcoholic beverages from 01:00 until 08:00 each morning. Executive Order No. 39 was signed by Duterte, reducing the speed limits for all kinds of motor vehicles within the territorial jurisdiction of Davao City in the interest of public safety and order.Duterte also signed Executive Order No. 04, Series of 2013 to impose an order creating the implementing of rules and regulations for the new comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance no. 0367-12, Series of 2012.Davao City's Firecracker Ban was also implemented with ordinance No. 060-02/1406-02, Series of 2002 by the City Council through the support of Duterte. Another known accomplishment was that the City Government of Davao was able to acquire 10 more ambulances for central 911 intended for medical emergencies and 42 new mobile patrol vehicles and motorcycles for the Davao City Police Office (the first and only 9-1-1 emergency telephone number in Asia which is also free of charge).Duterte, through Executive Order No. 24, ordered all shopping malls and commercial centers to install, operate and maintain high end and high definition closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras at all entrance and exit points of their premises. Duterte also passed the city's Women Development Code, the first and only in the country, which aims "to uphold the rights of women and the belief in their worth and dignity as human beings" and pushed for the Magna Carta for Women in Davao. It is a comprehensive women's human rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination against women.

Crime Rate

Reuters reported in May 2016 that according to national police Davao has the highest murder rate and the second highest rape rate among 15 Philippine cities, and that locals think that the city has become safer because of Duterte's campaigns against drugs and crime. Crime figures reported by Duterte, stated that crime in the city was significantly reduced during the period 1985–2000. Duterte suggested that there had been a decrease in crime from a triple-digit crime rate per 1,000 people in 1985, to 0.8 cases per 10,000 inhabitants in the period 1999 to 2005. Furthermore, according to police statistics, the population in Davao City grew from 1.12 million to 1.44 million between 1999 and 2008 (29 per cent). In the corresponding period, the incidence of reported crime rose from 975 to 3,391 (248 per cent). The number of index crimes have significantly decreased since 2013 and 2015, with most killings occurring during police operations.

Advocacy

In 2014, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte initiated the holding of a summit: "I am calling on all responsible leaders in the island, from government and civil society organizations, from the business and academe sectors, the leaders of the Church, the military and the youth, let us all forge a well-informed, united front, so we could craft a collective plan of action for Mindanao's true identity reflective of what its peoples and tribes truly wish and aspire for", Duterte said in a statement. Among those who were invited to attend were former President Fidel V. Ramos, Msgr. Fernando Capalla, Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel Tabora, former Mindanao Economic Development Council chair Paul G. Dominguez, and retired General Hermogenes Esperon. Local government heads from Mindanao cities, towns and provinces were also expected to attend, as well as Catholic bishops and Muslim religious leaders. In September 2014, Duterte met with former mayors and governors in an initial effort to revive calls for a federal form of government. The group, which called itself Mindanao Council of Leaders, made their position public after an informal caucus. Present during the said meeting were Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, former Cagayan de Oro mayors Reuben Canoy and Vicente Emano, former Zamboanga del Norte congressman Romeo Jalosjos, and former Davao del Norte representative Pantaleon Alvarez. A month later, Duterte was in Cebu City and met with Cebu officials. The event was sponsored by the Federal Movement for a Better Philippines and coincided with the induction of its new set of officers held at the Sacred Heart Center in Cebu City.

Presidential Bid

As early as the first quarter of 2015, Duterte made hints to the media of his intention to run for president in the 2016 elections. However, he denied these plans numerous times amidst clamor from his supporters for him to run. On October 16, 2015, on the last day of filing for certificates of candidacy, Martin Diño filed his intent to run for president under Duterte's party, PDP-Laban. Duterte's supporters clamored for the possibility that Duterte be fielded as a substitute candidate for Diño, in the event that Diño gets disqualified or withdrew. On October 26, 2015, Duterte said on an interview that the deadline for his last decision if he will seek the presidency is on December 10. He also warned the people to abide by the law if he wins.On October 27, PDP-Laban has made it official that Duterte will substitute as the party's presidential bet if aspirant Martin Diño withdraws or is disqualified by the Commission of Elections (Comelec) from the 2016 race.Two days later, PDP-Laban standard bearer Martin Diño officially withdrew his presidential bid and named Duterte as his substitute because of the possibility that Diño might be declared a nuisance candidate by COMELEC. On October 30, an alleged campaign video of Duterte and Cayetano circulated on social media that put hopes on Duterte's candidacy as Cayetano's running mate. However, Duterte's aide Bong Go said on an interview that Duterte's mind hasn't changed yet but will continue on soul-searching with his family to know if he's going to run in the upcoming elections.On November 1, Duterte said that nothing still hasn't changed and he isn't fit for national office. He also said that he is still waiting for an official communication from his party about his possible candidacy; Duterte will also wait if his daughter will agree to substitute for him at the mayoral race of Davao and he will retire from public service if Sara agreed to do so.On November 2, Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) executive Dr. Arwin Serrano said that Martin Diño is deemed to face an election sabotage complaint because of proposing Duterte as his substitute for him, however, Diño denied the allegations that his filing of candidacy is just a front to pave the way for Duterte's possible substitution.In an interview with Comelec Chairman Andres D. Bautista on November 3, he stated that, although they have noted Diño's withdrawal, he additionally mentioned that they won't move with any further action with regard to a possible substitution until they have Duterte's consent and unless it would be made official with a COC and a certificate of nomination and acceptance from PDP-Laban.Duterte himself then further clarified that his decision of acceptance for the substitution offer would be on the deadline itself come December 10. On November 21 in a private gathering with fraternity brothers from San Beda College of Law, Duterte formally announced his presidential bid and also finally accepted Alan Peter Cayetano's offer to be his running mate.Duterte said he is disappointed over the decision made by the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) regarding Grace Poe's citizenship as well as the current administration's handling of the 'laglag-bala' issue.Duterte further stated that he will file his candidacy immediately after he reached out to his party. On November 27, 2015, Duterte filed his certificate of candidacy for president through his representative Atty. Salvador Medialdea in Metro Manila shortly after withdrawing his COC for Davao City mayoralty re-election. The document was filed along with a certificate of nomination and acceptance from PDP-Laban signed by Duterte and the party's vice president, Engr. Salvador Ty. In withdrawing his COC for Davao City mayor, Duterte named his daughter, Sara, as his substitute. Sara formally submitted the document for substitution at Comelec Davao and both COCs were received. The validity of Duterte's substitution was further assessed by Comelec and on December 7, Comelec rejected a petition to designate Martin Diño as a nuisance candidate and while the Comelec legal department has assured Duterte that the first COC he filed through a representative was valid, he personally filed his COC at the Comelec national office in Intramuros, Manila on December 8 to formalize his bid for the presidency in the 2016 elections. An estimated 500 people showed up, including students from Duterte's alma mater Lyceum of the Philippines, to express their support. On December 17, Comelec officially recognized Duterte's substitution of Martin Diño as PDP-Laban's presidential candidate for the May 2016 elections. Comelec Chairman Andres "Andy" D. Bautista said in a press conference on the same day: “ This means he (Duterte) is now in our list of candidates. So that was an administrative decision that the Comelec en banc made. ” The poll body voted 6–1 in favor of recognizing Duterte's candidacy. Comelec Senior Commissioner Christian Robert Lim pointed out that Comelec has two functions — administrative and quasi-judicial. The decision on Duterte's candidacy, he said, is administrative.

Presidency

On May 30, 2016, the 16th Congress of the Philippines proclaimed Duterte as the President-elect of the Philippines after he topped the official count by the Congress of the Philippines on May 27, 2016, with 16,601,997 votes, 6.6 million more than his closest rival, Mar Roxas. At the age of 71, Duterte became the oldest person ever elected to the presidency, after former President Sergio Osmeña. Duterte is also the first local chief executive to get elected straight to the Office of the President, the second Cebuano to become president (after Osmeña), the third Cebuano-speaking president (after Osmeña and Garcia), the first Visayan from Mindanao and the fourth Visayan overall (after Osmeña, Roxas and Garcia).

First Day

Duterte's presidency began following his inauguration on June 30, 2016 at the Rizal Ceremonial Hall of the Malacañang Palace in Manila, which was attended by more than 627 guests.Shortly after his inauguration, Duterte held his first Cabinet meeting to lay out their first agenda, which included the country's disaster risk reduction management, decongesting the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, the country's main gateway, and expressed his ideas and concerns regarding the territorial disputes in the South China Sea prior to the announcement of the verdict of the Philippines' arbitration case against China over the issue,which the Philippines later won.Four days later, on July 4, Duterte issued his first executive order entitled "Reengineering the Office of the President Towards Greater Responsiveness to the Attainment of Development Goals", allowing his Cabinet Secretary, Leoncio Evasco, Jr., to supervise over several agencies that focus on poverty reduction.On July 23, Duterte signed Executive Order No. 2 also known as the Freedom of Information Order. Duterte meets with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, September 8, 2016 On August 1, 2016, Duterte launched a 24-hour complaint office accessible to the public through a nationwide complaint hotline, 8888, while also changing the country's emergency telephone number from 117 to 911.On August 7, Duterte delivered his I am sorry for my country speech wherein he revealed the names of more than a hundred government officials that were discovered to be involved in illegal drug trade. On the same day, Duterte approved the burial of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Heroes' Cemetery in Taguig scheduled for September 18, saying that Marcos is qualified for the burial at the cemetery due to him being a "former president and a soldier". The decision drew criticism from various Marcos critics, particularly victims of abuse during the Martial Law era and participants of the People Power Revolution among others, claiming that Marcos is unfit to be buried at that particular cemetery due to his policies that were regarded as dictatorial. On September 2, 2016, an explosion that rocked a night market in Duterte's hometown, Davao City, killed at least 14 people and injured 70 others, which the militant group Abu Sayyaf initially claimed responsibility for, but later claimed that their other allies were also responsible for the attack.Following the attack, Duterte declared a nationwide "state of lawless violence", giving authority to the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to conjointly conduct law enforcement operations, but he clarified that unlike martial law, declaring a "state of lawless violence" will not suspend the writ of habeas corpus. While adjusting to working and residing at the Malacañang Palace, Duterte divides his workweek between Manila and Davao City by spending three days in each city, utilizing the Malacañang of the South while in Davao.

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