Duterte Stories


A post written by former SEC chairman, Perfecto Yasay Jr. relates how he has known Rody “Digong” Duterte since the time they were roommates at the YMCA dormitory in law school. He was at first startled by the curses that flowed naturally from Digong’s mouth, but later was able to accept him for who he was, just as he accepted many other people in his life with their own failings and shortcomings.

Yasay continues, “But more significant than his frequent foul language that can be annoying to many, I know Rody up close as a person with a big heart and noble vision, who truly respects the dignity in every human being, especially the poor, the needy and oppressed whom he cares, loves and readily helps with devotion, consistency, integrity and sincerity and inspired by the same Christian values that many of us hold dear. I have learned to greatly respect him as a dedicated, honest, brave and decisive leader that our country needs for its survival at this critical time and to make meaningful change and advancement a reality.”

I wonder why some people detest Duterte so much. And I realized that perhaps, like Yasay, they are initially turned off by his brashness, his impropriety, his casual manner of talking about killing criminals, his womanizing, and so on. Unlike Yasay, though, they did not have the opportunity to really know the person, and people tend to fear what they do not know.

I and my fellow Dabawenyos can attest to what Duterte has done, who he really is, and where his heart really lies. Do not judge him based on the flaws that media so loves to hype during these campaign times. Judge him by the stories that Dabawenyos themselves tell. After all, he has been our mayor for most of the past 3 decades. We should know.

I, myself, have a story to tell.

*** ***

One of the store managers of the pharmacy that we operate reported an incident with one of the mayor’s men. He had been instructed to purchase Mayor Duterte’s medicine and wanted to claim the senior citizen’s discount. However, he had forgotten to bring the mayor’s senior citizen’s ID. When he was informed about it, he said, “Naku patay ako kay mayor nito. Sinabi na nga nyang dalhin ko ang requirements eh. Sige, balik ako agad, miss. (Oh no, the mayor did remind me to bring the requirements. I’ll be back quickly, miss).” It was that simple. No power play. No bending the rules.

*** ***

Some of my friends and contacts have also shared their Duterte stories in social media. Let me share some of them.

*** ***

My former teacher, Dennis Rivamonte, writes: “Some time ago, in Manila, I met a guy who claimed to be the contractor for the SM City Davao. He told me that he was so amazed and proud of Mayor Duterte. When I asked him why, he told me that unlike in other cities where he built SM Malls, it was only in Davao City where he did not experience being approached by a city official to ask for ‘big personal favors’ from SM management. Worried that the mayor might one day appear to ask for favors, just when mall was about to operate, and when he might find it difficult to say no, this contractor decided to see the mayor personally to ask if the he had any ‘special personal requests’ from the SM management. To his surprise, Mayor Duterte said, ‘Yes! I have one big personal request, a great big favor to ask from the management. When you start to take in applicants for employment, please give priority to the Dabawenyos.’  That was it. He did not ask for anything other than that. And that was enough to amaze this contractor and to declare that our Davao City Mayor is not corrupt.”

*** ***

My friend, Alice Cadao, writes, “I was born in the year 1978 in Davao City and lived just meters away from his home in Bangkal. As a kid, I would hear stories about his generosity but it was not until I was already around 28 years old that I had personally witnessed how genuine this man really is. I had the privilege to work as a Production Officer for ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. and a correspondent for Bantay Bata 163 Davao. My partner and I would produce material that usually featured an ailing child who either needed an immediate operation or an expensive medical treatment. Through local TV Patrol Davao in the afternoon, the said feature stories were aired for broadcast. The material would run for just around 2 minutes but before it was done, our office would already receive a call. ‘Si Mayor na daw mag-shoulder sa expense sa medication sa bata. (The mayor will shoulder that kid’s expenses).’ This was done without fanfare, without broadcast, without photo-ops or any publicity. Mind you, I cannot anymore count the number of children that he has helped through our program. Also, it was not a requirement that the parents were his constituents or his voters. He did not mind even if the child came from Tagum, Mati, Gensan or Cotabato. The important thing was that he was able to help.

*** ***

Aldwin Dumago, a bank officer, writes, “He is known for his unpopular decisions. Most often we’d hate his orders, but we eventually come to realize he’s right. Why spend so much money on fireworks and firecrackers if only to rush victims to hospitals after? Can we not celebrate Christmas and New Year without emergency cases? Why suffer from second-hand smoke? Why shoo away the indigenous people when they are the original settlers of Davao and Mindanao? Who doesn’t want a taxi ride with Mayor Rody? I don’t feel afraid of Mayor Rody because I’m not doing anything wrong. The moment the plane lands in Davao, I know I am safe. I know that when I take the cab, the driver will bring me to my destination safely and will give me exact change. I know that in case of emergency, I will only have to call 911.”

*** ***

Another good friend, Manolo del Rosario, an executive of Emcor, writes, “We Dabawenyos know him better than the rest of the country. He’s the guy who goes out to do traffic in the rain, drives incognito as a taxi driver at night and commends a traffic enforcer for flagging him down on a traffic violation. He’s the man who cries when he sees cancer-stricken kids, slaps abusive policemen, and has no tolerance for societal scalawags. He’s the man who, despite budget constrictions, managed to convince the private sector to share resources and assets to create the only 911 system in the country. If the rest of the country doesn’t want him, then at least leave to us what is ours — our hard-earned tax revenues. That way Davao can soar as high as we want to, implement our city development plan (yes we have that, first in the country, but we lacked the budget to implement it) and not be hampered by others who do not share in our vision of a safe, clean, modern and progressive environment for our children.”

*** ***

My former student, George Cordero, writes,”Listen, I went to college in Davao. Ever since, I wished the other Filipino cities I lived in were as disciplined and safe as Davao City. All this talk about being afraid of Duterte? What do you have to fear if you aren’t a lawbreaker? I have nothing but respect and admiration for the man and his will and sincerity. In a way, I think it’s good to see that his critics have nothing on him except their ‘moral high ground’, and fears of an imagined dictatorship that is truly such a stupid notion.”

Click here for More Duterte Stories.

And also here fore EVEN MORE Duterte Stories.

Originally published in Sunstar Davao.

Do you have your own Duterte Story to share? Email me at andy@freethinking.me. View previous articles at www.freethinking.me.

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25 thoughts on “Duterte Stories”

  1. I never really never knew about the man but only in newspaper. I wish many people of Davao would testify more about the character and principles of the man that now he is running for the highest office in our government. I would love to hear from him. Thanks. Perhaps why not give him a chance for what he got.

  2. How Duterte rules in Davao City, my family is one among the beneficiaries. We are safe from second -hand smoke through his firecrackers and smoking ban. Our city is the envy of some citizens of other cities. My relatives in Cagayan de Oro City and Mati City told me how they wished that their city be governed by someone like Mayor Duterte. One night, I rode on a taxi and instructed the driver to go to Ulas. While on the way, I slept. Upon reaching Bangkal area, the driver woke me up and asked where to proceed because there is an intersecting road after you cross the bridge. I remembered that the Mayor had instructed all taxi drivers to bring all passengers home safely. I looked at the taxi meter and read the amount and it was usually the amount I used to pay in going to Ulas. This is contrary to what I have experienced in Cebu City wherein the driver ,upon reaching an intersection, proceeded the other way and not going to the road leading to the place upon my instruction. That is why, I am happy living in this city where Duterte looks after the welfare of the people. I also admire the city councilors who passed ordinances for the city and who share the same vision as that of the good and humble Mayor.

  3. I was born in Mati City, but finished university in Davao City. When I underwent an OJT with ABS-CBN, I experienced becoming a field reporter in action. While gathering the news, we were inside the Mayor’s Office. Lining up were the poor people, seeking for help and reporting complaints. On the chair was Mayor Duterte himself, personally talking to its people one after the other. It truly impressed me as I hardly find any government official in other cities/municipalities who personally meets his/her citizens to hear their grievances like Duterte. When someone asks to see and talk to the mayor, its always possible in Davao City!

  4. I am grateful of how Duterte runs his city. My sister had a lymphoma and was admitted in SPMC for quite a while for the continuous treatment. My sister was a beneficiary of the charity Duterte took a lead on even we were not citizens of the city. He takes care of everyone who needs his and his city’s help. Thank you, Mayor Duterte. Thank you Davao City!

  5. No way I can accept a man who corrupts through the Cuz words he utter, his brazen display of womanizing, his alliance with the leftist and terrorists, tolerance with drug dealers, a man who announce to all he is a killer, shows how he disrespect women by groping their body , kissing lips to lips in public display ? You think you can justify his character by saying it’s just for media mileage, but why? The arrogance of the man to think people will accept him the way he is? What values will young people learn from him? Soon we will be a nation of pagans, worst , people who no longer discern what is proper and moral , like an animal. Duterte supporters will bash me to kingdom come, as what they do to those who are critical of their candidate but this is my personal view.

  6. @Zenaida Garingalao Then, by your own words, you are not only judging Duterte, but the Davaoenos themselves. Do you think they are that dumb to give such high respect to a man who lacks moral values? Take a look at them now. Are they pagans? Are they immoral? Do they act like animals? With the kind of discipline they have, I really don’t think so.

    Now, take a look at yourself in the mirror and those who are non-Davao residents, especially the Manilenos. Who do you think are more decent? Geesh.. Those may be your personal views, but you better choose your words well, because respect begets respect. You are free to support whoever you want to. Just remember: Never trust what you can only see, because even salt looks like sugar.

  7. I am a Manilenyo but I will personally campaign for him because I sincerely believe that he is the man who will bring genuine change to the Philippines.

    Before you judge Duterte, I suggest to know this man first, read more about him, or go to Davao and be amazed that a city like that was ever developed in a country full of corruption and personal ambitions.

    #Duterte2016 #DuterteCayetano

  8. @zenaida garingalao i am amazed by how shallow you judge a person. Have you not read a single word in the testimonies? Are you one of those who are so close-minded that they just leave a comment without even digesting what they are commenting about? Get off your moral high ground please. Our children do not take bad habits from a President. They do not emulate him. They emulate the parents. If you fear that your children will become like Duterte, wouldn’t it be better to raise a foul-mouthed but kind-hearted person than a kind-spoken but foul-acting one?

  9. @Zenaida that is why election after election, the people elect the same trapos because they are fooled with what the candidates show them at face value. I bet people like you fall for those publicity stunts where politikos go to church and take their communion. You want your children to have a good role model? Be a good parent. You should be more concerned about tv and the internet rather than a man who is trying to run a country.

    To fix the dirty, filthy system that is Philippine politics, we need a president who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty coz that’s the only way to do it if you want to rid this country of corruption.

    You want a country to have morals? Look on to your religious leaders. How stupid would a whole entire nation be to model their morals on one person. How weak would your faith have to be that you are so afraid that an entire nation would turn to pagans in just 6 years, just because of Duterte?

    It is this type of ignorance that is the downfall of our beloved society.

    It is your choice if you do not want him as your president but if the reasons are because of what you just said, then it is a pity because you just closed your mind on the most viable option this country has to be great.

  10. Ikaw didisiplina sa anak mo hindi ibang tao, kung pabobohan nanalo ka na zenaida

  11. @ zenaida For the words you hurled against duterte it is clear that you never knew or atleast be open to know more about the man. But we forgive you because you do not know what you are talking/ writing about.

  12. Zenaida is not a Pagan but, she is a Pugante from NBP Muntinlupa in which she’s a respected Drug pushers Queen.

  13. “All this talk about being afraid of Duterte? What do you have to fear if you aren’t a lawbreaker?”

    I’m not afraid of Duterte. I even admire his humble home, his straightforward answers, his courage, his decisiveness, and his discipline.

    And as I read more articles about him, I often find myself thinking,

    “I would gladly vote for him.”

    The only thing that’s stopping me is the fact that he blatantly admitted that he has killed and that he is prepared to kill again.

    I trust his good nature, and his desire to eliminate crime and corruption. But what about those who are under him? How can we guarantee due process? How can we guarantee that the life of an innocent will not be wasted?

    We are merely humans, prone to err.

  14. Fellow Dabawenyos and Duterte supporters. People like Zenaida are the ones you cannot sway. Let’s not call her names, let’s not get mad at her. Her mind is set, let her be. Besides, I pitty her, because she really doesn’t know what she is talking about.
    Instead of commenting hate at her, why don’t we share more Duterte experience… Maybe, just maybe, she will change her mind.

  15. @zenaida- Madam, alam ko ang feelings mo kasi di naman lahat ng tao sa Pilipinas ay pareho ang paniniwala. Sa ngayoy isa ka pang bulag dahil d mo pa natikman ang kagandahan ng administrasyong Digong, marami ang naniniwala at kahit di mo i boto si Digong, mananalo pa rin siya…d namin kailangan ang boto mo at yan ay aming igalang. Kung Binay kaman, Mar or Poe, goodluck! Duterte’s deeds are far more gallant than his foul words. But i u want to listen to sugar coated promises then I recommend MARPOEBINAY sa yo….the sum of the 3 cant outweigh Duterte’s achievement. Duterte willl win, Duterte will work, and thru Duterte there will be real change.

  16. Man became too concern of the outward appearance but deep inside they are hiding their stinky self. What i like with Duterte is that he doesnt care what you think of him, he doesnt fear man but behind that i can sense his fear of God. Enough not to mind whatever man says, God knows him better. I can him as the only candidate who acknowledges God over himself which you will come to see if you really listen to him, the sense of humbleness. I don’t find these qualities of a good leader from the rest.

  17. I am so much pleased to read a lot of good stories for our Next Philippine President. Though I was not able to go see for myself what Davao City looks like, just saw it on pictures and videos, I am really amazed how great it is. If what Davao City have will be possible to the entire Philippines, that would be really great!
    I chose Duterte as my President because I can feel his deep, sincerity and honesty in his heart towards the Filipino people… i too hate oppression. Enough is enough! We need DISCIPLINE, which has been lacking since the Yellows took over the government. And it all starts with US!!!

  18. Andami ko sanang experiences na gustong i-share pero sumasakit kamay ko sa kaka-type. Pero ill just write it this way:

    Well, we dabawenyos knew him better than anyone else. By looking at the latest survey conducted by AdDU exclusively to dabawenyos; with 88% goes to him (Digong), it appears without a doubt we believe he is the best candidate and the best leader. What we saw from other people who kept pulling him down are very opposite from what we experienced and observed in the City. Kung walang kwenta si Digong, eh kami na mismo ang mag-rereject sa kanya. But why we, dabawenyos has the full support? its up to you to answer.

    Personally, if I were to decide? Id rather not let him run for Presidency, instead, continue his service here in Davao City. “Ba’t pa namin ipapahiram? Eh sobrang kontento na kami dito sa Davao na siya ang Mayor.

    @zenaida. We respect your view. For a person who doesnt know much and never witnessed, its only normal to react the way you did. But I can tell you this, if and only if you are given the chance to know him and witness what he is capable of, I am 101% sure, you will admire him.

    Lastly, sa mga taong ayaw maging Pangulo si Digong, we (dabawenyos) would gladly and whole-heartedly take him back in Davao and be our Mayor till he retires.
    Anyway, he’s originally ours. Selfish na kung selfish…

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