|Mayor of Davao City|
June 30, 2013
|Preceded by||Sara Duterte|
June 30, 2001 – June 30, 2010
|Preceded by||Benjamin C. de Guzman|
|Succeeded by||Sara Duterte|
February 2, 1988 – March 19, 1998
|Preceded by||Jacinto T. Rubillar|
|Succeeded by||Benjamin C. de Guzman|
|Vice-Mayor of Davao City|
June 30, 2010 – June 30, 2013
|Preceded by||Sara Duterte|
|Succeeded by||Paolo Duterte|
May 2, 1986 – November 27, 1987
Officer in Charge
|Preceded by||Cornelio P. Maskariño|
|Succeeded by||Gilbert G. Abellera|
|Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Davao City's 1st district|
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2001
|Preceded by||Jesus Dureza|
|Succeeded by||Prospero Nograles|
|Born||Rodrigo Roa Duterte
March 28, 1945
|Political party||PDP-Laban (National)
Hugpong Sa Tawong Lungsod (Local)
|Spouse(s)||Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman (Annulled)|
|Domestic partner||Honeylet Avancena|
|Alma mater||Lyceum of the Philippines University
San Beda College
Rodrigo "Rody" Roa Duterte (born March 28, 1945), who also goes by the nickname Digong, is a Filipino lawyer and politician. Duterte is among the longest-serving mayors in the Philippines. He has been mayor of Davao City, a highly urbanized city in Mindanao, for 7 terms, totalling more than 22 years. He has also served as vice-mayor and congressman in the city. His harsh methods in enforcing law and order has won him both praise and criticism. Human Rights Watch has pleaded to him to stop the alleged mass murders in Davao City.
Duterte was born on March 28, 1945 in Maasin, Southern Leyte, Philippines under the Commonwealth rule to Vicente G. Duterte, who served as Governor of (the then-undivided) Davao and Soledad Roa, a school teacher and a civic leader.
Soledad "Soleng" Roa-Duterte, mother of Rodrigo and widow of the late Vicente Duterte (d. 1988) who served as Davao Provincial Governor from 1959 to 1965, was born on November 14, 1916 in Cabadbaran City, 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 province. Vicente, prior to being provincial governor of Davao, was once a mayor of Danao City in 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 political families of the Durano and the Almendras clan as relatives.
The Dutertes came to the Davao Region in 1951. Vicente as a lawyer engaged in private-practice, while Soledad as a teacher taught in the public school. Mrs. Duterte, however, 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.
Rodrigo 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 Academy of Digos in Digos City, Davao del Sur after being expelled twice from previous schools, including one in Ateneo de Davao University due to misconduct. For his tertiary education, he took up a Bachelor of Arts degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila, where he graduated in 1968. He also obtained a law degree from San Beda College, 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 1977-1979; Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor from 1979-1981; Third Assistant City Prosecutor from 1981-1983; and Second Assistant City Prosecutor from 1983-1986.
Rodrigo's mother Soledad died on February 4, 2012 at the age of 95.
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.
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 (Yolanda). Financial assistance was also given to Bohol and Cebu for the earthquake victims.
Crime figures reported by Duterte, alleged 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 crime rose from 975 to 3,391 (248 per cent).
In one article of TIME magazine shows him doing patrol 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. In early September 2015, an infamous incident was reported regarding a tourist being forced to swallow his own cigarette butt in a local bar in Davao City after the tourist arrogantly refused to comply with the public anti-smoking ordinance of the city. Duterte was personally contacted by the bar owner and went into forcing the tourist to swallow his cigarette butt in which the tourist obliged. Duterte was then met with criticisms especially from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).
Though supportive of the extrajudicial killings of habitual drug users and dealers, Duterte used city government funds to build a P12-million drug rehabilitation and treatment center which provides 24-hour services. In 2003, he offered a P2,000 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 a survey released by crowd-sourced rating site Numbeo.com dated April 30, 2015, Davao City ranked 9th as the safest city in the world. In the following month, Davao City's rank moved up to the 5th spot and in June 2015, Davao City now holds the 4th spot as the safest city in the world.
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." Among the other awards Duterte also refused to accept for Davao City includes the one given by the American Cancer Society and the 2010 anti-smoking award in Singapore.
- Through the support of Duterte, the City Council amended the ordinance no. 1627, Series of 1994, which imposed a prohibition on selling, serving, drinking and consumption of liquors and alcoholic beverages from 1:00 am until 8:00 am.
- Executive Order no. 39 was signed by Duterte, setting 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.
- Other 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).
- Duterte, through E.O no. 24, ordered all shopping malls and commercial centers to install, operate and maintain high end and high definition closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras in all entrance and exit points of their premises.
Duterte, who has been dubbed "The Punisher" by Time magazine, has been criticized by human rights groups and by Amnesty International for tolerating extrajudicial killings of alleged criminals allegedly by the Davao death squads. 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." 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. 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".
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."
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."
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." 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." 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."
In 2015, Duterte confirmed his links to extrajudicial killings in Davao, and warned that if elected president he may kill up to 100,000 criminals.
Duterte has made hints to the media of his possible intent to run for the presidency come 2016, with the promise of abolishing Congress altogether in favor of a parliament, if he ever wins. Duterte reportedly enjoys the support of several netizens who laud his performance, especially on maintaining peace and order but he was quick to shrug off calls for him to run as President on February 2014, saying he is not qualified for higher public office. A year later, Duterte said on a Baguio federalism forum that he'll only run for president "if only to save the republic." Duterte cited the need of about 10 to 15 billion pesos as a campaign war chest that's keeping him from running. Days later, Duterte "re-entered" PDP-Laban; he maintained he never left the party, but had to stand in a local party banner (Hugpong) in the 2013 local election to ensure victory. PDP-Laban president Aquilino Pimentel III later said that Duterte is among his party's options in nominating for the presidency, noting that the party's position on federalism coincides with Duterte's advocacy. A few days after reports of incumbent Vice President Jejomar Binay (a presidential aspirant) eyeing him as his running mate, Duterte issued a statement that he is not interested in running for a national post.
In September 2014, Duterte declined presidential aspirant and incumbent Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago's offer to be her running mate and said that instead of being the running mate to Senator Santiago, he wants former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro, Jr. to be Santiago's running mate. On March 2015, Lakas–CMD national president Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that his party is preparing for the 2016 elections; incumbent Congressman Danilo Suarez also remarked that they are convincing Teodoro to go out of retirement to run anew. However, Santiago chose Bongbong Marcos as her running mate in October 2015.
Duterte later said that he was considering suggestions from his friends and supporters to run for president during the June 21, 2015 airing of his weekly program in a local channel (Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa). He also added that he will stop expressing non-interest in starting a presidential campaign.
However, at the ASIA CEO Forum in Makati held in June 25, Duterte said that he would not run for presidency and said that he never desired to do so. About a month later, Duterte, responding to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's statement that she would not run with him as a matter of principle, said that he would campaign against the Liberal Party if de Lima is drafted, calling her as "hypocritical", and principles as "rotten."
On August, while at a meeting with military officers, Duterte spoke with Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison. Duterte said that he told Sison that he would run for president if the CPP's armed wing, the New People's Army, abandons its over-40-year insurgency, saying "Armed struggle as a means to achieve change is passe in the modern world we are living in today,". Duterte disclosed that Sison was asking him of his plans for 2016, and told him that he didn't have plans yet.
On September 7, 2015 in a press conference held at Davao City, Duterte officially declared he will not be running for presidential candidacy in 2016 and apologized to all of his supporters on the decision. He additionally stated that he might be retiring from politics after his term as Mayor of Davao City ends in 2016 if his daughter would run as mayor of Davao City in 2016. Other factors of his possible retirement are due to age, health concerns and his family's objections. Mixed reactions erupted in social media hours after the declaration and several supporters still continue to petition online urging the mayor to revert his decision.
On September 26, 2015, a large number of supporters gathered at the Quirino Grandstand in Rizal Park, Manila to urge Duterte to officially run for presidency in 2016. The gathering was dubbed 'The Million People March' by the media however, its followers prefer to call it the 'The People's Call'. Duterte was not present at the event and was at Zamboanga City to assist a kidnapping case of the three foreigners and a Filipina who were taken by armed men in a luxury resort in Samal Island happened on the Monday night that week. It was then reported that the (hashtag)#Duterte2016 tops on Twitter with 1,966,830 reach and 2,641,635 impressions during the rally. In a statement read by retired Armed Forces chief Hermogenes Esperon to the crowd at Quirino Grandstand, Duterte asked for more time to “do some final soul-searching” as per text message by Duterte himself. Since Duterte claimed that one of the primary reasons he declined for a presidential bid is due to lack of finances needed to bankroll a campaign, supporter Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre on the other hand reported that a group of businessmen has pledged P1 billion to fund Duterte's bid if ever Duterte would accept the offer. The offer was made by Benigno Gopez, who speaks for the group of anonymous businessmen, after the gathering of Duterte supporters at Quirino Grandstand on September 26. Despite being an undeclared candidate, Pulse Asia Research Director Ana Tabunda still considers Duterte "a serious contender" as he is already at the 4th rank in the presidential survey by Pulse Asia from late August to early September as well as in the last Social Weather Stations survey behind announced and declared candidates Grace Poe, Mar Roxas and Jejomar Binay. Duterte's long-time political rival and critic, former House Speaker Prospero Nograles, also expressed his support for Duterte if ever he decides to run for presidency. On September 29, incumbent Senator Alan Peter Cayetano declared his intention to run for the 2016 Vice-Presidential post in a press event held in Davao City and considers Duterte to be his first choice as running mate for the presidential post which eventually led to a meeting between the two parties. A day after meeting with the Cayetanos, Duterte met with another incumbent senator, Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr., who also went to Davao City to personally talk to Duterte. Marcos is reportedly considering for the Vice-Presidential post as well but haven't made any formal proclamation yet at that time. Similar to the Cayetano meeting, Duterte still declared that he is not running for president.
On October 13, 2015, in a press conference held at a local hotel in Davao City, Duterte finalized his decision not to run for presidency with Sara's objection being pointed out as one of the main contributors.
On October 15, 2015, Duterte's authorized representative, Christopher "Bong" Go, filed Duterte's certificate of candidacy (COC) on his behalf at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Manila, for a re-election for the Davao City Mayoralty post instead. A music video with a disclaimer being "non-paid" entitled "Takbo" (Run in English translation) was then uploaded on the same day by rap artist Njel de Mesa with a theme to urge Duterte to run for presidency. The song was composed by singer Jimmy Bondoc which features various artists such as Bondoc and de Mesa themselves, Luke Mejares, Paolo Santos, Pido Lalimarmo, Thor, Gail Blanco and other OPM local artists. Bondoc then stated he will offer to write another song if the mayor finally decides to join the presidential race in 2016.
On the afternoon of October 16, the last day for filing of COC and a day after her father's submission for the same position, Duterte's daughter, Sara, posted on her Instagram account a photo of her COC, while hinting that her father would seek a higher post and withdraw his COC for Mayor re-election. However, in a radio interview with Bong Go, he stated that while Sara's COC was filled out, it was not received by the Comelec in Davao City. Hundreds of supporters were reportedly rallying outside the Comelec office expecting for Duterte to file his candidacy on the last day of submission before the cut-off at 5:00pm. Duterte’s possibility of substitution until December 10 was opened after Martin Diño, father of celebrity Liza Diño and chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and former barangay captain of Brgy. San Antonio, Quezon City, filed his candidacy for president on the last minute. Diño is a member of PDP-Laban, the same party advocating the federalism system where Duterte belongs. Diño clarified that there was a "clerical error" on his submitted COC (running for Pasay City mayor, instead of president). On their general meeting held in Pasay City on October 26, members of PDP-Laban had expressed their support to Diño in his presidential bid. On October 21, Duterte told CNN Philippines' News.PH via phone patch interview that there was still a chance he would change his mind. The decision, however, would have to be made by the PDP-Laban.
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 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 withdrawn his presidential bid and named Duterte as his substitute because there’s a possibility that Diño might be declared as nuisance candidate by the 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 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 gathering held in his alma mater San Beda College, 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, the PDP-LABAN.
In 2014, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte initiated the holding of the 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 are expected to attend are 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 are 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.
Duterte has siblings named Benjamin "Bong" Duterte, a one-term city councilor of Davao between 1992-1995, younger sister Jocelyn Duterte who lost in several attempts to grab a Third District city council seat as well as for the mayor post in 2001, and Blue Boy Duterte who run and lost in the First District congressional race in 1998. Duterte is also known for his straightforward and vocal attitude in public especially on interviews, showing no hesitation using profanity profusely live on-screen in numerous occasions despite of formal requests by media groups and schools beforehand.
Duterte was once married to Elizabeth Abellana Zimmerman, a flight stewardess who hails from Davao City of German American descent, with whom he has 3 children namely: Paolo ("Pulong"), Sara ("Inday Sara") and Sebastian ("Baste"). Out of his 3 children from Zimmerman, 2 (Paolo and Sara) ventured into politics while Baste, with no interest into politics, ventured into business.
Rodrigo Duterte has been publicly very open about his infidelity and philandering during the course of his marriage with Zimmerman citing it as the reason being for his failed first marriage and had never denied the issue when asked in interviews. In 1998, Zimmerman filed a petition with the Regional Trial Court in Pasig to nullify her marriage. Duterte on the other hand never appeared in court and did not protest Zimmerman’s petition. Two years later, the court decided in her favor, ending the 27-year marriage of Duterte and Zimmerman. Duterte and Zimmerman has been in good terms in recent years with Zimmerman stating, “Yes, he [Rodrigo] is really a very good leader. That is all he is. But when it comes to family, he is not capable of taking care of it.” In 2001, Zimmerman eventually ran for a seat in the city council but lost. Duterte and Zimmerman are said to have patched things up and appears to be civil to each other, 15 years after their marriage has been declared null and void. Zimmerman also emphasized in an interview that despite Duterte's womanizing, he listens to activist women and set up a program that mainstreams “gender and development” issues resulting to Davao City winning the Galing Pook award for “gender-responsive” governance in 2004.
Despite of his status being listed as single in the Davao City government website, Duterte is currently living with his partner Honeylet, a nurse, with whom he has 1 daughter named Veronica ("Kitty").
Duterte is known for being an avid fan of big bikes but detests luxury cars. He once owned a second-hand Harley Davidson and currently a Yamaha Virago. He was once a habitual smoker but he eventually quit after a doctor's suggestion due to health concerns. Duterte is also openly supportive of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights and is an avid reader of Robert Ludlum and Sydney Sheldon novels.
Duterte also has his own local show in Davao City called Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa ("From the Masses, For the Masses") aired as a blocktimer on ABS-CBN Davao.
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