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No comparison between Duterte, Brazil’s rightist president-elect—Panelo

/ 07:05 AM November 03, 2018

Malacañang distanced itself from foreign media suggestions of similarities between President Rodrigo Duterte and Brazil’s outspoken President-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro.

Mr. Duterte has a track record as Chief Executive since June 2016, while Bolsonaro has yet to assume his post, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

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“We take note of foreign commentators who have been drawing similarities between President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and President-elect Jair Messias Bolsonaro of Brazil,” Panelo said in a statement on Friday.

Tough heads of state

Panelo noted that the comparison was no different from Mr. Duterte being compared to US President Donald Trump, and other “strong and tough heads of state who implement gallant measures against lawlessness.”

The comparison between Mr. Duterte and Bolsonaro, he said, “is understandable, given that both are populist leaders who came to power because of their respective peoples’ desire for decisive leadership.”

“The comparison, however, ends there since Mr. Bolsonaro has yet to assume the presidency and will only do so come Jan. 1, 2019. Everything is merely speculative at this point,” he said.

Accused of misogyny

The 63-year-old Bolsonaro, a former military officer from the far-right Social Liberal Party, has been accused of misogyny and of being a homophobe. He also supports torture and has threatened to jail political dissidents.

He has also championed antiabortion policies, economic liberalization and gun rights, while campaigning against secularism.

The tough-talking Mr. Duterte is known for making off-hand comments against the Catholic Church, women and human rights advocates.

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One of the key programs of his administration is the bloody war on drugs. —JULIE M. AURELIO

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