Mayor Duterte turns 70, supports BBL
Jose Santino S. Bunachita
1:35 AM | Saturday, March 28th, 2015
DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Dutertesaid he supports the Bangsamoro Basic Law because it has similar aspects as his advocacy for federalism.
He encouraged the government to continue with the peace talks.
“We can’t afford a war in our economy and our people. We have to rise above our anger. Resume the talks. Pray and rise above your anger kay kinahanglan nato ang kalinaw,” Duterte said in his remarks at the grand reunion of the Veloso clan at the Casino Español.
Duterte is related to the Veloso clan throuh his father. The Velosos sang “Happy Birthday” and surprised him with a birthday. The mayor turns 70 tomorrow.
Before he arrived in Cebu, Duterte was in Bohol where he was the guest speaker at the commencement exercises of the BIT International College in Tagbilaran City.
In his speech, Duterte said he was wary of running for president.
He said he didn’t want to be accused of stealing or get jailed after his term.
“Mao nang di ko gusto ma-presidente. Ikaw, ako mosud kog pagkapresidente gwapo ko ug humot ko or baho ko or di kaayo ko maayog itsura. Paggawas nako sa presidency, mas mabaho ako, mas pangit ako. Ug naay mag-atang nga police kay diretso na ko sa Camp Crame. Inyoha na lang na.
(That’s why I don’t want to be president. If you are good looking and you become president, you will come out ugly and foul-smelling. If you are not so good looking, you will end up uglier. And the police will arrest you and take you to Camp Crame. You can keep that. )
“As mayor, I work 24 hours a day. If I’m president, maybe 40 hours. You can just imagine that. Ingnon pa ka nangawat ka. Spare me,” he told the Veloso clan.
Duterte has been traveling around the country for speaking engagements and high-profile events.
He says this is part of his advocacy for federalism, but observers see the exposure as a way of testing the waters for a presidential run run in 2016.
In Cebu, his staff distributed copies of a February 23 special edition of the Philippines Graphic magazine which featured Duterte in a front page exclusive interview titled “If I become President.”
Red and blue baller bracelets with the phrase “Duterte. Atin ‘to pre!” were also distributed.
He was noncomittal when asked about articles that some other presidential contenders have expressed their intent to give way to Duterte if he decides to run.
“I still can’t react to that. Maybe in the next few days, I will decide,” Duterte said in an interview yesterday.
He lamented that local governments remit their income to the national government without assurance of getting what they deserve in return.
“Mindanao contributes 54 percent of the total export earnings in dollars to the national coffers in agricultural production for our bananas, okras, coconut oil, pineapple. Unya unsay ihatag namo? Kami sa Davao, P5 billion amo gihatag sa
Manila every week, and yet pag bahin-bahin wala mi.” he said. (Davao gives P5 billion to the national coffers but we get nothing in return.)
He said the centralized government “has been robbing us blind for the past years.”
After his speech, Duterte was given by the Veloso Foundation of the Philippines Inc. a citation for his “positive impact in Philippine national public service as public prosecutor, mayor and representative of the city of Davao.”