WATCHING Rodrigo Duterte preside over a midnight press conference in Davao City, I didn’t expect I could stay awake and interested from 11 p.m. to 2:11 a.m. the next day. Even so, as he dismissed his interrogators with the threat of keeping them until 7 o’clock if they didn’t get out of there, the reporters still crowded him, asking questions (including those already asked and answered) not like journalists out to trap a subject in the wee hours but like friends who were just catching up.
Following are some of his answers – which Duterte fans who habitually are asleep by midnight might want to read and analyze, in their own way.
“There are now 3.5 million addicts – where do I put them? Let the bleeding hearts put it down in writing, and advise me.”
“War is a dirty word. I’m now 71, married with two wives and eight grandchildren. Since the ‘70s when I first heard Joma Sison and up to now, we’re still fighting. Fighting for what? Until eternity? Bakit hindi matapos?”
“I was once left of center. Mr. Sison, I will make you my consultant, and we will find the perfect peace for our land.”
“Do not let the sins of the father visit upon the son. Marcos might not be a real hero but certainly he was a soldier in addition to being president. Patay na iyong tao, ano ba’ng gusto niyo.”
“(My economic agenda) is newly brewed, parang kape. We will continue the Aquino economic program – if it’s good, not to continue would be a waste of money.”
“It’s about time, yellow, everybody else, to jettison your hate.”
“You just maintain your loyalty to the Constitution. Huwag na ako, huwag na magdrama.”
“Do not use your cabinet position as a launching pad for your political plans.”
“Lahat ng mayor, governor who are into drugs, I will suspend you. This election was purely a mandate coming from the hearts of the people. . . I am warning you, there will be a mass movement of prison guards in Muntinlupa and Iwahig – you’re so lax!”. (Jullie Y. Daza)