Rodrigo Duterte

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Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte (2009).jpg
Mayor of Davao City
Assumed office
June 30, 2013
Preceded by Sara Duterte-Carpio
In office
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2010
Preceded by Benjamin C. De Guzman
Succeeded by Sara Duterte-Carpio
In office
February 2, 1988 – March 19, 1998
Preceded by Jacinto T. Rubillar
Succeeded by Benjamin C. De Guzman
Vice Mayor of Davao City
In office
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2013
Preceded by Sara Duterte-Carpio
Succeeded by Paolo Duterte
In office
May 2, 1986 – November 27, 1987
Preceded by Cornelio P. Maskariño
Succeeded by Gilbert G. Abellera
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Davao City's First District
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2001
Preceded by Jesus Dureza
Succeeded by Prospero Nograles
Personal details
Born Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(1945-03-28) March 28, 1945 (age 69)
Maasin, Southern Leyte, Philippines
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman (separated)
Children Paolo Duterte
Sara Duterte-Carpio
Sebastian Z. Duterte
Veronica A. Duterte
Alma mater San Beda College
Lyceum of the Philippines University
Religion None

Rodrigo Roa Duterte[1] (born March 28, 1945) is a Filipino politician and the current Mayor of Davao City in the Philippines.

Early life and education[edit]

Duterte was born on March 28, 1945 at Maasin, Southern Leyte to Vicente G. Duterte, who served as Governor of Davao and Soledad Roa, a school teacher and a civic leader.

He spent his elementary days at the Sta. Ana Elementary School in Davao City, where he graduated in 1956. He finished his secondary education at the Holy Cross of Digos. For his tertiary education, he took up a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines University, where he graduated in 1968. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda College in 1972. In the same year, he passed the bar exam.

Soledad R. Duterte is the mother of the present Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte and widow of the late Vicente Duterte who served as Provincial Governor from 1959 to 1965. Mrs. Duterte was born on November 14, 1916 in Cabadbaran, Agusan del Norte to Eleno Roa and Fortunata Gonzales. She finished her elementary and secondary education in her native town. She pursued her college education at the Philippine Normal School in Manila in 1939. She was connected with the Bureau of Public Schools as a teacher when she met and married lawyer Vicente Duterte of Cebu. The Dutertes came to Davao in 1951.Vicente as a lawyer engaged in private-practice, while Soledad as a teacher taught in the public school. Mrs. Duterte, however, but retired as a supervisor in 1952 when her lawyer-husband joined politics. She left government service owing to the demands of a politician-husband. As wife of the governor, she became familiar with the social and economic problems of the people, especially the out-of-school youth, women, children and the disabled.

Political life[edit]

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 in the city government, which was later copied in other parts of the country. 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. In 2001, he ran again for mayor in Davao and was again elected for his fourth term. He was reelected in 2004 and in 2007. In 2010, he was elected vice mayor, succeeding his daughter, Sara Duterte-Carpio, who was elected as mayor.


Under Duterte's period of office, Davao City is perceived to have attained a level of peace and stability. During this time crime figures appeared to indicate a dramatic reduction in crime, particularly petty crime. In response to this the local tourism organizations dub it as "one of the most peaceful cities in Southeast Asia".[2] Duterte, who has been nicknamed "The Punisher" by Time magazine,[2] has been criticized by human rights groups and by Amnesty International for tolerating extrajudicial killings of crime suspects.[2][3][4][5]

Crime figures reported by Duterte, alleged that crime in the city was significantly reduced during the period 1985-2000, a time when the Davao Death Squads came to prominence. 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. According to Human Rights Watch, which investigated the Davao Death Squads, the majority of the earlier crimes related to petty offences, whose fall coincided with a sharp rise in the murder rate. 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 crime rose from 975 to 3,391 (248 per cent). Human Rights Watch argues that the harsh anti-crime campaign instituted during Duterte's period of office failed to tackle crime rates and moreover, the rise in murders appeared to have exacerbated crime rates in the city.[6]


Duterte, has been heavily criticised by numerous organizations for condoning and even inciting murders to take place during his leadership. In the April 2009 UN General Assembly of the Human Rights Council, the UN report (Eleventh Session Agenda item 3, par 21) said, "The Mayor of Davao City has done nothing to prevent these killings, and his public comments suggest that he is, in fact, supportive."[7] Human Rights Watch reported that in 2001-2002, Duterte appeared on local television and radio and announced the names of “criminals”, some of whom were later executed.[6] In July 2005 at a crime summit in the Manila Hotel the politician said, "Summary execution of criminals remains the most effective way to crush kidnapping and illegal drugs".[8] In 2009 Duterte said: “If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination."[9]

Duterte responding to the reported arrest and subsequent release of a notorious drug lord in Manila is quoted as saying: "Here in Davao, you can’t go out alive. You can go out, but inside a coffin. Is that what you call extra-judicial killing? Then I will just bring a drug lord to a judge and kill him there, that will no longer be extra-judicial." [10]

Referring to the arrest of a suspected rice smuggler, Duterte spoke out in the state senate saying, "If this guy would go to Davao and starts to unload (smuggled rice)… I will gladly kill him." For these comments Duterte was attacked in an editorial in The Manila Times, which condemned "the mentality of lawlessness and vigilantism."[11] The newspaper argued that this culture of impunity enabled those in power, including officials, "private warlords and businessmen vigilantes" to take retribution against those they felt had acted against their interests: "They kill journalists exposing corruption and human rights activists exposing abusive police and military men."[12] Following Duterte's comments in relation to killing a person suspected of smuggling rice, the office of the President of the Philippines issued a statement saying, “Killing a person is against the law. The President has been firm in the belief that no one is above the law. We must not resort to extralegal methods."[12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Personal Data from URL last accessed 2006-10-14.
  2. ^ a b c Zabriskie, Phil: The Punisher, Time magazine (Asia edition), June 24, 2002. URL last accessed 2006-10-12.
  3. ^ Amnesty International Press release ASA 35/004/2002: Philippines: Protect the community from crime - but not at the cost of human rights, July 23, 2002. URL last accessed 2006-10-12.
  4. ^ Amnesty International Pacific, document ASA 35/001/2005: Philippines: Sharp rise in "vigilante" killings as human rights activist’s death remains unsolved, February 1, 2005. URL last accessed 2006-10-12.
  5. ^ Amnesty International: Worldwide Appeals - Philippines: Sharp rise in 'vigilante' killings, The Wire, 35(3), April 2005. URL last accessed 2006-10-12.
  6. ^ a b ""You Can Die Any Time" Death Squad Killings in Mindanao". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Cullen, Fr. Shay (May 7, 2006). "We must stand against the death squads". The Manila Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  9. ^ "The Philippines’ real-life Punisher, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, urged to run for president". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Duterte and the Law Enforcers’ Code of Ethics". Manila Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Duterte and the Law Enforcers’ Code of Ethics". Manila Times. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

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