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Duterte shows soft side during visit to parents’ tombs

Presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte, who swept to victory built on foul-mouthed populist tirades, showed his soft side during a visit to the tombs of his parents – former Davao Gov. Vicente Duterte and Soledad Roa, a public school teacher – at 3 a.m. yesterday at the Davao public cemetery.

“Dili ko katoo, Kinsa ra man ko (I can’t believe this. Who am I? I’m just a nobody,” Duterte mumbled as he sobbed uncontrollably.

The scene was caught on video by Stella Esrtemera, a local journalist, who posted it on her Facebook account. It had gone viral on the Internet with more than 50,000 shares.

The 71-year-old Davao mayor has secured a lead of nearly six million votes over Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas who conceded defeat yesterday.

Senator Grace Poe, running third in the presidential race, conceded just after midnight.

‘‘I congratulate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and pledge my support in working to heal our land and to unite our people toward the continued development of our country,’’ Poe told reporters in Manila.

Duterte captivated Filipinos with vows of brutal but quick solutions to crime and poverty, while offering himself as a decisive strongman capable of resolving a host of other deeply entrenched problems in society.

‘‘It’s with humility, extreme humility, that I accept this, the mandate of the people,’’ Duterte told AFP in Davao early yesterday morning as the results came in.

‘‘I feel a sense of gratitude to the Filipino people.’’

In other comments to reporters who had converged on Davao, Duterte offered an olive branch to his rivals following a deeply divisive campaign that had seen President Aquino brand him a dictator in the making who would bring terror to the nation.

‘‘I want to reach out my hand and let us begin the healing now,’’ said Duterte, whose campaigning style and ability to upend conventional political wisdom have drawn comparisons with US Republican Donald Trump.

However Duterte vowed to push through on the central plank of his campaign platform – ending crime across the nation within six months and eliminating corruption.

On the campaign trail he had enraged critics but hypnotized fans with profanity-laced promises to kill tens of thousands of criminals, forget human rights laws and pardon himself for mass murder.

While avoiding such extreme inflammatory remarks, Duterte said a law-and-order crackdown that particularly targeted drugs would be one of his top priorities when he became president, and he was prepared to kill.

‘‘I will do it (fight drugs), even if they say I am an executioner,’’ said Duterte, who rights groups accuse of running vigilante death squads in Davao that have killed more than 1,000 people.

‘‘Look what I did to Davao. I will not let down the people.’’

Duterte, who on the campaign trail boasted of being behind the death squads, also had a warning for corrupt police.

‘‘If you are a policeman and stick to your racket, choose: either you kill me or I kill you,’’ he said.

The election commission was not expected to officially proclaim Duterte as the winner of Monday’s vote for more than a week.

However it had authorised the PPCRV, a Catholic Church-run poll monitor, to tally the votes, and they showed on Tuesday morning with almost 90 percent of the total counted that Duterte could not lose.

Duterte had 38.65 percent of the vote, with administration candidate Mar Roxas on 23.16 percent and Senator Grace Poe in third with 21.71 percent, according to PPCRV.

In the Philippines, a winner is decided simply by whoever gets the most votes. The next president will be sworn in on June 30. (With AFP report)