Duterte likens Binay to Marcos
DAVAO CITY, Philippines—Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will not be endorsing Vice President Jejomar Binay or anyone of the other presumed presidential candidates.
In a speech at the conclusion of the 64th foundation anniversary of Mlang, North Cotabato, on Monday, Duterte said he could not possibly endorse Binay, because he was “difficult to spell.”
He then drew similarities between Binay and the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, saying both were accused of massive corruption.
“In Marcos’ time, it was only conjugal. Marcos and Imelda. If he [Binay] wins, it will be a basketball team,” he said, drawing laughter from the crowd. (Every adult member of the Binay family is an incumbent or past elective official.)
As for Sen. Grace Poe, voting for her was unthinkable, said Duterte.
A friend, but…
“She’s my friend too but I cannot give my vote to her. We may end up having an American president,” he said.
Poe “cannot prove that she is a natural-born Filipino,” he said.
According to Duterte, having been adopted by a Filipino family may have made Poe a Filipino but because the identity of her biological parents cannot be known, she cannot be a natural-born Filipino.
“Grace Poe is a foundling, who was her father? Her mother? A Filipino? We will never know,” he said.
However, Duterte said he would not campaign against Poe should she decide to run for president.
“If you want Grace, it’s up to you,” he said.
Duterte skipped mentioning Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been endorsed by President Aquino as the Liberal Party standard bearer, in his speech.
A friend, too, but…
But he later told reporters he would not be endorsing Roxas, whom he has described as a close friend and ally, either.
“That is because I do not promote the ‘winnables,’” he said, adding that Roxas, as the candidate of the ruling party, “has the machinery.”
Earlier, Duterte said he would not vote for Roxas if the LP includes Justice Secretary Leila de Lima in its senatorial slate.
In fact, he said he would not support any party that would take in De Lima as a senatorial candidate.
“I might not only be campaigning with the other side, I might also run,” he said.
During his speech in Mlang, Duterte teased the crowd by saying he was every inch a Filipino because he was born out of a Filipino family.
He also said that in his 22 years in government service as mayor, vice mayor and congressman, he never pocketed any government money.
‘I have two wives’
“I am not saying I’m faultless. First, I have two wives. I’m very open about that. I also have girlfriends. You want me to be president? I’ll introduce them to you. They’re all beautiful and good persons. But I do not provide for them using government money,” Duterte said.
Duterte also revealed that he was recently called to a meeting by five businessmen, who told him they were willing to bankroll his presidential bid.
Duterte did not identify them but said they were known to be big election spenders.
One of them, he said, owns a large television network, another a communications company, and still another owns and runs a stevedoring company.
Two others, he said, own various big businesses.
“But I said I am not running. First, I am already old. Second, I have no money and third, my family does not want me to run,” he said.
Wait a little more
Duterte said he told the businessmen to focus their attention on those willing to take on the presidency.
However, in a talk with reporters after his speech, Duterte admitted he had told those pushing him to run to wait a little more.
He said he was just waiting for a sign from God before deciding with finality.
“The presidency is a [matter of] destiny. If God wants me to be president, then so be it,” he said.
However, he said that he might violate basic rights to protect the public from the drug menace.
Earlier, former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said a Duterte presidency would be the second coming of the Marcos dictatorship, given his alleged disregard for basic human rights.
“Could be. I will not deny that. Just tell them there are three million drug addicts now. Nine out of 10 barangays (villages) are contaminated,” he said.
According to Duterte, the drug problem should be given attention by the next president, and if that will be him, he will likely leave Malacañang after six years facing genocide or murder charges.
“They say I kill women and children but it’s not true,” he said, repeating his earlier pronouncement that pushers only get killed because they violently resist.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.