Rodrigo Duterte
Incumbent Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte promised “leadership’ during the second Presidential Debate held on Sunday, March 20, in Cebu City. (Photo: Rody Duterte official Facebook page)

Incumbent Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte announced his candidacy for the upcoming 2016 presidential elections on November 21 last year, during a gathering with his colleagues.

Before this, Duterte repeatedly refused to run, despite the huge amount of support he has been receiving. He was even offered by several presidential and vice presidential aspirants to be their running mate, including UNA’s Vice President Jejomar Binay, and independent candidates Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Senator Bongbong Marcos.

As the deadline of filing the certificate of candidacies (CoC) was nearing, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) was desperately looking for their standard bearer and unexpectedly filed Martin Diño as their presidential bet. By then, speculations were circulating that Diño was Duterte’s supposed placeholder while the mayor was still undecided and soul-searching.

The mayor suddenly had a change of heart and announced that he was still open to the possibility of running, until he finally declared his candidacy on November 21, 2015, replacing Martin Diño under PDP-Laban; months after his supporters had a hard time convincing him.

However, the validity of Duterte’s substitution to Diño was questioned by several lawyers because of an error made in the latter’s certificate of candidacy. In Diño’s CoC, he was mistakenly regarded as a Pasay mayoral bet instead of a presidential candidate. Hence, some lawyers concluded that Duterte, a presidential bet, cannot replace Diño, a mayoral bet.

This case was later voted upon by officials of the Commission on Elections (ComElec) and results were in favor of Duterte. The issue settled down afterwards.

As he announced his candidacy, Mayor Duterte also declared that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano is to be his running mate.

As many have noticed, all of the presidential aspirants are Senators, except Vice President Jejomar Binay, but Digong had the guts to face them eventhough the highest position he has attained in politics is his mayoral post, which is relatively low compared to the other candidates.

Well, aside from his millions of supporters, Duterte was famous for turning Davao from a city where most and major criminals dwell, to one of the most – if not the most – peaceful cities in Southeast Asia.

He has been suspected as the brain behind viligate group Davao Death Squad, and was – and still is being criticized by human rights group for tolerating and even being involved in extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals in the city.

According to some sources, the reason why the number of criminals in Davao instantly diminished during Duterte’s mayoral term, is because he orders the killings of these crooks, including drug pushers, murderers, kidnappers and even robbers.

Because of his bravery to fight crime offenders, many people believe that Duterte is the man we need to finally put an end to all crimes in the Philippines, especially drug addiction. Because of his reputation in extrajudicial killings, he was tagged as the “Iron Fist”.

He was also known for being a womanizer or in colloquial term, babaero, and also for his unusual habit of cursing and saying bad words. These issues, however, did not affect the mayor’s ratings because until now, he has been gaining votes in pre-election polls and surveys.

With the people’s unwavering support, who knows? Mayor Duterte may be the country’s next president.

Personal Details

Date of Birth: March 28, 1945
Place of Birth: Maasin, Southern Leyte
Father: Gov. Vicente G. Duterte (deceased)
Mother: Soledad R. Duterte
Marital Status: Married
Name of Children: Paolo, Sara, Sebastian, and Veronica
Occupation: Lawyer
School: San Beda College – Class 1972 – Bar 1972

Educational Attainment

Elementary – Sta. Ana Elementary School, Davao City (1956)

High School – Holy Cross of Digos, Davao Sur (1966)

College – Bachelor of Arts in Lyceum of the Philippines, graduated 1968, and Bachelor of Laws at the San Beda College, graduated, 1972

Work Experience

  • Lecturer on Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence & Criminal Procedure, Police Academy Regional Training Center XI, 1973
  • Special Counsel – City Prosecution Office, Davao City, 1977-1979
  • Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor, City Prosecution Office, Davao City, 1979-1981
  • Third Assistant City Prosecutor, City Prosecution Office, Davao City, 1981-1983
  • Second Assistant City Prosecutor, City Prosecution Office, Davao City, 1983-1986
  • Vice-Mayor,Davao City, 1986 – 1988
  • Elected City Mayor, Davao City, 1988 – 1992
  • Re-elected City Mayor, Davao City, 1992 – 1995
  • Re-elected City Mayor, Davao City, 1995 – 1998
  • Elected Congressman, 1st District of Davao City, 1998 – 2001
  • Elected City Mayor, Davao City, 2001 – 2004
  • Re-elected City Mayor, Davao City, 2004 – 2007
  • Re-elected City Mayor, Davao City, 2007 – 2010
  • Elected Vice Mayor, Davao City, 2010 – Present

Affiliations in Organization

  • Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines
  • Member, Davao Lions International – Chinatown chapter
  • Member, Davao Practical Shooting Association
  • Member, On Any Sunday Riders

Davao City Awards and Citations:

MOST CULTURE-FRIENDLY CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES (2009)

* ONE OF THE 20 MOST LIVABLE CITIES IN ASIA

In the annual survey made by Asiaweek on the 40 Best cities in Asia, Davao City has unfailingly made it to the top for four consecutive years (1996-1999).

* THE PHILIPPINES’ MOST LIVABLE CITY

One of the Only Three Areas in the World to have the Integrated emergency Response System 911 as Top 25 Best Practices in the Philippines.

Davao City is one of only three areas in world, after the United States and Canada to have the Integrated Emergency Response System 911, a fully computerized response system linking the people of the city to the emergency resources of the government.

Davao City received an award for its Project 911 from the League of Cities in the Philippines in 2003, as one of the Top 25 Best Practices in the Philippines.

* TOP DESTINATION OF THE YEAR, Kalakbay Awards (1997)

* CLEANEST AND GREENEST HIGHLY-URBANIZED CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES

Davao City received an award of excellence from the Office of the President as the 1st Runner-up in the Cleanest and Greenest Highly-Urbanized City in the Philippines-Gawad Pangulo sa Kapaligiran Awards 2004, and the second runner up for three consecutive years in 2001-2003.

* CLEANEST AND GREENEST CITY IN 1999

Davao City was awarded the Cleanest and Greenest City in 1999 for its clean and green program that focus on environmental rehabilitation, protection and conservation, intensification of solid waste management program, pollution control, re-greening of the urban areas, forest and watershed management.

* MOST CHILD-FRIENDLY CITY IN THE PHILIPPINES

Davao City came out as the runaway choice for the coveted spot in the first-ever selection of the Most Child-Friendly City in the Philippines in 1988 and 1999 due to its local government’s programs and initiatives directly benefiting the children.

It has also won nods for the initiative to pass a landmark legislation – the Davao City Children’s Welfare Code of 1994, the first of its kind in the country, specifically geared towards addressing the rights, services and protection of children, therefore upholding their welfare and interests in high regard.

* MOST COMPETITIVE CITY TO DO BUSINESS IN THE PHILIPPINES

In 2002, Davao City was recognized as the Most Competitive City to do Business in the Philippines by the Asian Institute of Management (AIM) Policy Center and the Department of Trade and Industry in their assessment of Philippine Cities Competitiveness. In 2003, Davao was also chosen 3rd Most Competitive Metro City in the Philippine Cities Competitiveness ranking.

* MOST GENDER RESPONSIVE LGU IN THE PHILIPPINES

Gawad Galing Pook 2004 Awardee
National Commission on the Rights for Women (NCRFW) Award for Gender Responsive Local Governance 2005

* HALL OF FAME, BEST PEACE AND ORDER COUNCIL IN THE PHILIPPINES

The National Peace and Order Council of the National Police Commission placed Davao City in the Hall of Fame in 2004 for winning Best Peace and Order Council in Region XI  for three consecutive years (1999-2002). It is recognition of Davao City’s sustained and exemplary accomplishments in implementing programs and projects of the Peace and Order Councils (POC’S) at various levels.

* MOST OUTSTANDING LGU: Regional Literacy Awards and 2nd Place in the 2005 National Literacy Awards

The Department of  Education hailed Davao City as the “Most Outstanding Local Government Unit in the 2005 National Literacy Awards”, all under the Highly Urbanized City Category.

* REGIONAL GREEN BANNER AWARDEE

The National Nutrition Council of the Department of Agriculture awarded Davao City the “2004 Regional Green Banner” in recognition of the City Nutrition Committee’s exemplary performance in managing the nutrition program of the city, thereby contributing to the improvement of the nutritional status of its constituents.

* TOP GOVERNMENT WITHHOLDING AGENT

The Department of Finance, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Revenue Region 19, Revenue District No. 113, Davao City recognized the City Government for its invaluable  support and contribution to RDO 113 as the “Top Government Withholding Agent” by making substantial tax payment – an act of patriotism worthy of recognition and commendation.

* TOP TOURIST DESTINATION IN THE PHILIPPINES

Davao City was chosen “Destination of the Year” by the Kalakbay Awards in 1997.

* MOST OUTSTANDING CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IN THE PHILIPPINES AND IN ASIA PACIFIC REGION

The Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCII) was bestowed the “Most Outstanding Chamber Award for 2005” . DCCII was likewise recognized as the “Best Chamber in the Asia-Pacific Region” during a selection held in New Delhi in 2005.

* MOST OUTSTANDING KBP CHAPTER IN THE PHILIPPINES

The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas acknowledged its Davao City local chapter as the “Best KBP Chapter for 2004.” It was once again given recognition for winning “2nd Place for the Best Local Chapter Report.”

* CLEANEST AIR IN THE WORLD-MEMBER OF THE CLEAN CITIES COALITION

In 2005, Davao City was launched as the second pilot area of the Clean Cities Program (CCP) implemented by the Sustainable Energy Development Program (SEDP), in partnership with the US Department of Energy (USDOE) and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

Sources: davaocity.gov.ph, Davao City by Battad

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