Rodrigo Duterte is like Joseph Estrada, Donald Trump— lawmakers
Lawmakers likened controversial Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte either to former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada or to Donald Trump, the outspoken Republican presidential candidate in the United States.
READ: Duterte shocks, awes
“I think Duterte is doing ala-Erap e. Parang (Seems like) Erap part 2,” House Deputy Speaker Neptali Gonzales II told INQUIRER.net when interviewed at the Senate on Tuesday.
“Early on, si Erap, anticipated na nya ang things that will be accused of him, babaero hindi marunong mag English and those are the things na ginawa nyang katatwanan. And I think Duterte is also doing the same thing,” he said.
(Early on, Erap anticipated that things that will be accused of him, womanizer, does not know how to speak in English and those are the things that he made fun of.)
READ: LOOK: Duterte kisses, sits with women in Taguig event
However, unlike Estrada, who had a following from showbizness even before he joined politics, Gonzales noted that Duterte has yet to reach to the masses and he doubts whether the mayor could use foul language on television to reach to millions of Filipino voters.
“I haven’t heard him speak publicly but what I’ve heard is pag narinig mo sya (when you hear him) personally, very entertaining. But the problem is on how he will be able to reach, yung (that) style na yun will appear sa masa (on the masses),” he said.
“But the problem is how will you be able to reach yung talagang milyun milyon na tao (millions of voters) between now and election because you have to hear him. And I don’t suppose that he will do on live TV (television) dahil hindi ko alam kung pwepwede yun (because I do not know if it is allowed).”
And if Duterte is trying to get the masses by projecting himself as an honest man, then Gonzales said this would probably not affect the Liberal Party’s (LP) bet, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, who has been perceived to have a weak support from that sector. Gonzales also belongs to LP.
“Ang medyo malakas dun sina Grace at si Binay at kung dun papasok si Durtete e paghahatian nila yung tatlo…” he said. “Dati nun kasi, si Binay was lording it over the masses until Grace Poe came in so nag-iba and then ito na naman ngayon si Digong…”
(Grace and Binay have quite a huge following there and if Durtete will pursue the same line, the three of them will have to share.)
He was referring to Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay, who are both running for president in the 2016 elections.
Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, meanwhile, likened Duterte to Trump.
“Magaling sa pulitika yan si Digong Duterte. Palagay ko sabi nya, ‘Ako’y di nagkukunwari.’ I’m telling you what I am, you take me for what I am. Ngayon if you will elect me, then you know the kind of person I am…”
(Digong Duterte is skilled in politics. I think he says, “I am not pretending.” I’m telling you what I am, you take me for what I am. Now if you will elect me, then you know the kind of person I am…)
Asked if he found Durtete’s actions presidential, Enrile said: “Alam mo, there’s a going, current mga ganyan ang attitude nila. E talagang may following yan. Kagaya ni Donald Trump, outspoken. Iniinsulto nya ang lahat ng tao sa Amerika, he’s rating very highly.”
(You know, there’s a going, current attitude like that. It really has a following. Like Donald Trump, outspoken. He is insulting all the people in America, he’s rating very highly.)
However, he said it has to be proven yet if Duterte’s strategy would work in his favor.
“Well, he’s going to the extreme situation to test the smoothness or roughness of Philippine society. Normally, people who aspire for high office would be very prudential in their statements, they are guarded. But you have a man who’s telling who he is…” he said.
“You know you’re asking pertinent questions. You’re very curious about the man so that’s a part of strategy. Maybe he’s doing it for people to talk about him. Everybody is now curious, some are angry, some are taken aback but everybody’s getting an interest about him,” Enrile added.
Despite criticisms against Durtete, House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora found the mayor an “interesting person” and “so different” from other presidential candidates.
“Alam mo ang advantage ni (You know the advantage of) Mayor Dutrete, he’s really so different from everybody else and that always helps when you able to set yourself apart from a whole crowd of candidates and that’s in itself is a plus. Whether he’s going it rightly, perhaps he’s going overboard, is something else. That will not be decided until much later,” said Zamora, who was also at the Senate.
“Siguro ang kelangang pag isipan ngayon is ‘does he have the infrastructure?’ Does he have the organization, mahirap ding manalo kung ikaw lang nagdadala,” he said.
(Perhaps what must be thought about now is “does he have the infrastructure?” Does he have the organization, it will be difficult to win if you are the only one moving.)
Asked about Duterte’s use of foul language, Zamora said: “Alam mo nakakalimutan ng tao yun (You know people forget that) but more important than that is how he conducts himself during the campaign.” RAM
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