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Duterte: It’s too late for me to change

/ 07:06 AM January 15, 2018

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte gestures as he reiterates his vow to fulfill his campaign promises in his speech during the birthday celebration of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez at the New Tagum City Hall in Davao del Norte on January 12, 2017. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY — You can’t be rude to people and expect them to respect you.

“Be rude to me and I will be rude to you,” said President Duterte, addressing his critics on Friday during Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s birthday celebration in Tagum City.

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“That’s why I’m rude because they tend to insult me,” the President said.

“My mouth is really foul especially when you piss me off,” he added.

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Mr. Duterte said he was never a statesman because “the mind-set that I have, that of a mayor, I brought it to the presidency.”

“And I realized that being President, you cannot say ‘son of a whore,’” he said.

Mr. Duterte said the people should just accept him for what he was as it was “too late” for him to change.

“It’s in the persona embedded deeply in the psychic mind. I can no longer do anything about that,” he said.

He said even when he became President, he always spoke “like a mayor.”

“And that is why to everybody who addresses me as President, I would reply something like, ‘Please do not call me President. Just call me mayor,’” he said.

Aside from cursing in public, Mr. Duterte was also known to crack jokes at any opportunity, including making sexist remarks. He was particularly criticized for catcalling TV reporter Mariz Umali during a live press conference. —Allan Nawal and Frinston Lim

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