Humble Duterte still can’t believe he’s the country’s most powerful leader – Politiko

Nakatsamba! Humble Duterte still can’t believe he’s the country’s most powerful leader – Politiko

Two weeks into his six-year term, President Rodrigo Duterte is still trying to soak it all in on what he called his odysessy to Malacanang. At 71 years old and after almost three decades in local politics, Duterte said he thought he was at a “dead end.” “Well, naka-tsamba tayo,” said Duterte in his speech during a San Beda Law Alumni Association gathering at Club Filipino on 14 July 2016. “Hindi ko talaga malaman paano ako nanalo,” said Duterte who admitted at still being “perplexed” at his rise to the presidency. Duterte had no political machinery except for a small group supporters from Visayas. He said his party, the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan was on the verge of dying. “Wala talaga akong makinarya. I would not want to belittle PDP. But it was a moribund party, until I came,” said Duterte who was a rare politiko who stuck with only one party throughout his career. What made his victory more remarkable against more popular and more well-funded politikos was that barely any governor or mayor backed him during the campaign. He said that except for Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos and Bataan Governor Abet Garcia, “wala akong mayor or governor. Even sa Mindanao…wala akong ni isang barangay captain sa Luzon, Bicol, or Visayas.” Duterte said he really had no plan to run president until after former President Fidel V. Ramos, along with Carlos Dominguez and Jesus Dureza, met him in Davao and told him it was high time for Mindanao to have someone in Mindanao. Aside from Ramos’ proddings, Duterte said he decided to run because none of the three leading presidential bets – Jojo Binay, Mar Roxas and Grace Poe – “never talked or mentioned anything about Mindanao” in their platforms, specifically the raging secession movement of Muslims. “If there is anybody as much as interested really sa Mindanao, ako. Kaya that prompted me to reconsider and you know ’yung baraha ko. But I did not have the money,” said Duterte. Duterte also pointed out that he was the only candidate who invoked God’s name in the campaign. He said: ” The ultimate statement I made was in Luneta during the miting de avance. I said that: ‘If God wants me to be president, I will be president of this country. If God does not want me president, he will give me the sign or maybe defeat’.”