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'Abogado, para sa tao, loves human life': President Duterte cites qualities of would-be successor

By NICK GARCIA Published Mar 13, 2022 4:50 pm

For President Rodrigo Duterte, his would-be successor should be compassionate and decisive—inasmuch as he wants the next Philippine president to be a lawyer like him.

"First, the president should be a compassionate one. Iyong para sa tao talaga," Duterte said in the 1:01:13 mark of his one-on-one interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy for SMNI News. Quiboloy is wanted by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation for sex trafficking of children.

"You must love the human being. Kailangan mahal mo talaga ang kapwa mo tao," added Duterte, whose flagship "war on drugs" program resulted in tens of thousands of deaths, including the lives of innocent ones.

Based on the government's "Real Numbers" data, a total of 6,229 individuals were killed during anti-drug operations from July 1, 2016, to Jan. 31, 2022.

Rights groups, however, have estimated that the number of deaths from the bloody anti-narcotics campaign reached as high as 27,000.

Duterte then described himself as a type of leader who's "maawain," but is "extreme" toward those who are into illegal drugs.

"Pag durugista ka, anak ng...umalis ka na lang diyan, barilin ko iyang it..." as Duterte didn't continue what he's about to say.

"Second, you must be," Duterte said of his successor as paused for a few seconds, "decisive," adding that that person should be a lawyer.

"Hindi naman ako nagsabi it’s the best quality, but one of the good qualities of a president, sana abogado," Duterte said. "Isang tingin mo lang, maka-decide ka na kaagad."

Only Vice President Leni Robredo and Jose Montemayor Jr. are lawyers among the 10 presidential aspirants in the May elections. Other candidates are: businessman Ernesto Abella, labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales, Sen. Ping Lacson, businessman Faisal Mangondato, and Sen. Manny Pacquiao.

"And the repercussions, ah... alam mo na kung ano," said Duterte who fumbled for words as he talks about being a decisive leader. "Whatever kind would you say...issue or...alam mo na."

Duterte's third "requirement" is that the next president should be a "good judge" of people.

“Kailangan mo malaman na bolador," he said. "So you are able to delegate these powers because you know their character.”

Earlier in the interview, Duterte also said that he prefers that a presidential candidate should be a mayor like him. He claimed that unlike him, "wala, walang dumaan," though Domagoso is Manila City's chief executive.

"Mas mabuti kasi kung ang maging presidente, dumaan ng mayor," he said. "Kasi iyong mayor alam niya, edukasyon... ganoon, pareho."

For Duterte, the next president also "must know" how to deal with China and must be prepared "to tag on each and every problem" in the West Philippine Sea.

“You must be able to make a stand doon dito ngayon sa, where the country will really side but what the country should do in case things would go out of control,” said Duterte, who has maintained a lukewarm stance toward China for the most part of his term. He even called the Philippines's 2016 arbitral victory against China a mere piece of paper that should be thrown away in a wastebasket.

Communication Sec. Martin Andanar, meanwhile, previously said that Duterte may endorse a candidate whose name has the letter "O," in spite of vowing to "stay neutral" in the elections and vowing to not support any candidate.

But all of the candidates, apparently, has “O” in their names.

Duterte earlier endorsed Bong Go as president, but Go withdrew his candidacy saying he didn't want to put Duterte in a tight spot.

Andanar added that Duterte is less likely to support a candidate whose name has the letter “U." Only Pacquiao and De Guzman have "U" in their names.

Last March 4, meanwhile, Duterte told the crowd of the inauguration of the Narvacan Farmer’s Market in Ilocos Sur to choose an Ilocano leader in the coming elections.

“Ibigay ko na lang itong isang buwan, aalis na ako sa Malacañang," he said. "Mamili na kung sinong Ilokano na leader ang ilagay ninyo doon."

The only Ilocano candidate in the lineup is Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

In November 2021, Duterte called Marcos Jr. a "weak leader" and a "spoiled child."