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I can’t stop my old ways as mayor, Duterte tells Davao media

/ 07:20 AM December 17, 2017
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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY — Blame it on a 22-year habit, President Rodrigo Duterte said of his tough, some say, vulgar way of talking about crime and criminals.

“What ails my presidency is that until now mayor ako magsalita [I still talk like a mayor] and my responses [to problems like crime] are basic and elementary,” Mr. Duterte said during Friday’s Christmas party here for the Davao media and Duterte supporters.

“I talk like a mayor, no high falutin’ language, no rigmarole,” said the President, who was Davao City mayor for 22 years before he became head of state.

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“Di gusto ng taga-Maynila iyan, lalo na ng mga elite, binabakbakan nila ako, bastos daw [Manila folk don’t like it, especially the elite.  They criticize me, they call me vulgar}. But then I say, that’s who I am,” Mr. Duterte said.

He added that people in Manila still could not accept that he was now sitting in Malacañang, and want him “ousted.”

He also told his supporters that he could not accept the atrocities that criminals do to their victims.

“Di ko kaya [I can’t take it],  child rape, infant [rape] … kayo, nakita n’yo akong pumatay ng tao [and you’ve seen how I’ve killed people].  But I can’t accept how 8-month-old babies [are violated], their abdominal cavity exposed.  A human being can only take so much,” Mr. Duterte said.

“So, my resolve is not to play it safe but to [match] the terror that is being perpetrated,” the President added.

“My words are harsh and sometimes threatening. I come out with threats, but those are just threats. Others want even more than that,” said Mr. Duterte at the start of the media night, where  he belted out Martin Nievera’s song, “Ikaw,” and “Balud sa Kapalaran  (literally, wave of destiny).”

The President sang through the rest of the party.

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