General Admission

Duterte’s daring drawing admirers, too


By Al S. Mendoza

 BAGUIO CITY—The hottest topic nationwide is also the hottest topic here. 

I refer to the vulgar-talking Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte, who else?

But before I proceed, why am I here again?

Well, for the record, I am Co-Chairman of the Rules Committee of the just-ended 66th San Miguel Fil-Am Golf Invitational at the Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay.

My rules partner was Jake P. Ayson, the gentleman from Porac, Pampanga, who is married to this city’s Atche Pat Manaois, the noted certified public accountant.

Now, to proceed to Duterte, the presidentiable from Mindanao.

Duterte has been drawing a hail of love-hate reactions arising from his recent expletive-laden speech and interviews.

Duterte, the mayor of Davao City for 22 years now, was a headline-hog this week for his controversial, if not scandalous, style of dealing with media persons.

Many hated Duterte’s straightforward mien, his answers bristling with cussing, cursing and his womanizing ways.

Some people loved it.

Some hated it.

Still others were/are ambivalent.

Those who say they love Duterte’s style argue that he’s no hypocrite, that he simply wants to let the people know the kind of president we would have if he got elected in 2016.

Duterte calls a spade a spade, and who doesn’t mince words when he speaks his mind.

When Leni Robredo said she doesn’t like the way Duterte carries himself in public, Duterte shot back:  “I have no problem with that because I do not also like Leni.”

Bishop Villegas and Bishop Emeritus Cruz are both angered by Duterte’s sheer frankness and brutal way of talking to media.

Duterte said he couldn’t care less, even threatening to expose abuses he had allegedly suffered as a high school student under Ateneo priests.

On being accused of having allegedly cursed Pope Francis, Duterte said: “I did not.  It was Manila’s horrendous traffic that I cursed when the Pope was here.  I will not even apologize.  And if the pope would want me to quit the presidential race, I will.” 

Villegas and Cruz warned us of the possibility of having a president who “admits to having killed suspected criminals” and who “tells us to put up many funeral parlors.”

But Juan Ponce Enrile has a completely different view of Duterte.

“He is an astute politician,” said Enrile, who is facing plunder charges but is out of prison on bail even as plunder is a non-bailable offense. 

I can agree with Johnny—if we go by what Duterte is gaining in terms of media mileage right now.

Hasn’t Duterte’s antics, dirt-laden or not, given him the luxury of grabbing headlines, the free publicity saving him a lot of money that he could use at crunch time?

Count the banner stories of our national dailies where Duterte is the leading actor and you will know what I mean.

Give it to him.  Duterte, sure, knows how to play his political cards well.

Meanwhile, poor Grace Poe finds herself on the ropes that she sorely needs a makeover.

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