Duterte says Marcos was the brightest of them all
CONCEPCION, Tarlac—The late dictator Ferdinand Marcos was the brightest Philippine President, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said during his visit to the hometown of President Aquino on Monday.
“Don’t feel insulted. But [on] hindsight… except [for] the time that he [refused] to step down [from office], the brightest among the past Presidents was Marcos,” said Duterte, a presidential candidate.
He and his running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, met a group of farmers in Barangay Talimundoc, San Miguel in Concepcion town, where the President’s father, the assassinated Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr., once served as mayor.
The older Aquino went on to become the youngest Tarlac governor at 29 in 1961. His murder in 1983 triggered the People Power Revolution in February 1986 that unseated Marcos, who ruled the country for more than 20 years.
Duterte said it was under the Marcos regime when the government introduced “Biyayang Dagat,” a program for fishermen, and “Masagana 99,” which benefited rice farmers.
“During those times, there were cooperatives. When a member borrowed money, it was the obligation of every cooperative member to pay. And there was no collateral,” Duterte said.
He promised to make irrigation a free public service if he becomes President. “It’s not only [for] you. Even in Mindanao. That’s why I’m upset with the government. Why should you pay for water when it is yours? I cannot understand that policy,” he told the farmers.
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