Philippines’ President, Rodrigo Duterte On May 2019 Election: “Why Don’t You Go And Vote For Her?”

Play Audio Clip Listen to audio clip. The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, has claimed he’s aware a drug user candidate is running for the presidency, and he’s quick to tell voters to not vote…

Philippines’ President, Rodrigo Duterte On May 2019 Election: “Why Don’t You Go And Vote For Her?”

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The Philippines’ president, Rodrigo Duterte, has claimed he’s aware a drug user candidate is running for the presidency, and he’s quick to tell voters to not vote for her.

Duterte’s reported comment comes after the mayor of Marawi, a Muslim city, in the country’s south, ranted against the daughter of the Philippines’ current president, deriding her oratory skills on the campaign trail.

The president’s blunt talk has made him a controversial figure, but one with a big impact in his home country. Read Malcolm Nance’s take on this story here

“You come to the Philippines for one reason and that is to create trouble, even if you just eat a little or sleep a little,” is part of the Asian catchphrase, rendered in English as “If you want to be mad, be mad here.”

Duterte is no stranger to the phrase – in 2014 when he was the nation’s mayor, he fought world record holder Guinness World Records for the longest concentration of broken bones. Back in 2016, when he declared martial law in the troubled south, his obsession with martial law and the threat he felt these laws could bring helped convince him to carry out a 40-day, scorched earth crackdown on the Muslim rebellion.

That war made him a bona fide villain around the world for his heavy-handed approach to the unrest and his pot-laden speech. Now, three years later, he’s the president of the Philippines and he may be again.

Duterte is a divisive figure in a country that’s a conservative, Catholic stronghold. But for many Filipinos, his unabashed populism and absolute unwavering brashness makes him refreshing, like an optimistic Dodge commercial that went viral. Like the service here in the U.S., he’s broken records and gained popularity for his leadership style and outrageous comments.

Duterte wasn’t coy about his manhood and his sexual promiscuity, he began political life with a “publicist manifesto.” His track record of state-sanctioned violence and his profanity-laden tirades don’t help.

More than 6,800 people have been killed in the Marawi fight, which according to eye-witnesses, many carried out by Duterte’s security forces. One report indicates that Duterte gave a key operative illegal orders to open fire on unarmed civilians, which is forbidden in the Philippines.

But there is one thing that doesn’t come up in reports of his presidency: his love of weed.

“[He] likes small, light marijuana,” Daniel Aguilera, a bartender, told CBS News in December. “He likes to come to the barbershop, sit in a chair and wait for me to make him a haircut.”

Duterte broke into politics as a longtime mayor of Davao City in the Philippines. He’s called himself a drug war “narcos, gangsters, terrorists” and a man of law. A perceived lawlessness and corruption, plus a historical Muslim insurgency in the south, are what led to a public outcry in 2016 that unseated his predecessor.

Duterte named law enforcement in Davao City as his chief target, and in 2016, he was able to disarm, arrest, and prosecute hundreds of people. A major international outcry ensued, with critics pointing to alleged human rights violations.

Duterte’s hyperbole on drugs and a soaring surge in murders this year has taken on a different tone, with the president calling the country in to a moral, fascist state, and law enforcement now officially terrorizing the country. Duterte’s mix of power, charisma, and political capital has kept him high in the polls, despite the controversy.

On Thursday, Duterte gave a press conference to announce candidates for the May 2019 election. Each candidate received a warning, and a 10-second warning was given to anybody who looked at Duterte. When it came to Nicklaus Gamba, a self-described drug addict, the president stopped talking and said this:

“Let me just ask you. Was she able to look after herself without drugs? If yes, then why don’t you go and vote for her, okay?”

John DeRoy contributed to this report.

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