Rodrigo Duterte

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Rodrigo Duterte

Rodrigo Roa Duterte (born 28 March 1945 in Maasin, Leyte) is a Filipino lawyer and politician who has been serving as mayor of Davao City for 7 terms or more than 22 years. He has also served as vice-mayor and congressman in the city. In the list of the 2010 most trusted individuals by Reader's Digest, Duterte was ranked fifth among all Filipino politicians included.

Under Duterte's mayorship, the crime rate in Davao has dropped drastically, to the point that the local tourist board can advertise the city as "the most peaceful city in Southeast Asia". Duterte, who has been called "The Punisher" by the Time (magazine)|Time magazine,<ref name="time"/> has been criticized repeatedly by some locals and by Amnesty International for having or at least allowing small criminals, often teenagers involve in criminal cases such as drugs and robbery, being executed by death squads.

On 21 November 2015, he declared his candidacy for the 2016 Presidential elections.


Early life and education

He was born on 28 March 1945 in Maasin, Leyte to Vicente Duterte, former Governor of Davao, and Solenad Roa, a school teacher and civic leader.

He finished his primary education at the Sta. Ana Elementary School in Davao City in 1956 and secondary education at the Holy Cross Academy of Digos in Digos City, Davao del Sur. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila in 1968 and a law degree from San Beda College of Law in 1972. He passed the exam in 1972 and eventually worked as a Special Counsel at the City Prosecution Office in Davao.


After the 1986 People Power Revolution, Duterte was appointed officer-in-charge vice mayor. Two years later, he ran for mayor and served until 1998. He designated deputy mayors that represented the Lumad and Moro peoples in the city government.

In 1998, he won as Representative of the First District of Davao City. From 2001 to 2010, he served as Mayor of Davao.

Under Duterte's leadership, Davao won the National Literacy Hall of Fame Award for being a three-time first-place winner in the Highly Urbanized City category of Outstanding Local Government Unit. Crime figures reportedly went down during his term. From being a crime-infested area, the city transformed from being a crime-infested area into a thriving business hub with 24/7 emergency hotline (Central 911). In June 2015, Davao holds the 4th spot as the safest city in the world.

Mayor Duterte used the city government funds to build a Php 12 million drug rehabilitation and treatment center which provides 24-hour services. In 2003, he offered a monthly allowance of Php 2,000 to drug addicts who asked for his help in kicking off the habit. Duterte also visits remote New People's Army (NPA) camps to negotiate peace transaction efforts and advocate diplomacy.

Duterte usually drives around the city twice a week to ensure things are well taken cared of. During night patrols, he checks the precint houses to make sure the cops were not sleeping and to check the detainees and know the crimes they've committed. He used to give groceries to cops as a way to curb their temptation to elicit bribes. However, when he finds a cop drunk while on duty, he personally doles out a trashing.

He supports LGBT rights. He allowed gay candidates in his ticket. He believes that everybody must be represented. In 2009, he criticized the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) for kicking out Ang Ladlad, a gay rights group, from its party-list slate. He also helped pass an Anti-Discrimination ordinance in Davao City.

Duterte served as Vice Mayor of Davao from 2010 to 2013. He currently serves as Mayor of the City.

Among the notable ordinances enacted by the city government under Duterte were the following:

  • Firecracker ban
  • Liquor ban (Prohibits the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages from 1PM to 8AM in public places)
  • Anti-smoking ordinance
  • Family planning methods (In 2005, Php 5,000 was given to those who availed of the city's free tuba; ligation and vasectomy services)

Duterte has been offered the post of the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) by presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Benigno Simeon Aquino III but rejected all of them. Duterte was Arroyo's anti-crime consultant in 2002. He led an anti-terror task force in achieving peace and order in the country.

Duterte has declined several awards. He was nominated for the “World Mayor” award in 2014 by The City Mayors Foundation but politely refused it as he said that he did not do it for his own glory and that was what people expected him to do. The said award is given every two years to outstanding leaders who served their communities well. He also refused to accept awards for Davao City, including the one given by the American Cancer Society and the 2010 Anti-Smoking Award in Singapore.

Work Experience

Position Held Department/Office/Company Inclusive Date
Mayor Davao City Present
Vice Mayor Davao City 2010-2013
Mayor Davao City 2007-2010
Mayor Davao City 2004-2007
Mayor Davao City 2001-2004
Congressman 1st District, Davao City 1998-2001
Mayor Davao City 1995-1998
Mayor Davao City 1992-1995
Mayor Davao City 1988-1992
Vice Mayor (OIC) Davao City 1986-1988
Lecturer on Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, and Criminal Procedure Police Academy Regional Training Center XI
Member, Integrated Bar of the Philippines
Second Assistant City Prosecutor City Prosecution Office, Davao City 1983-1986
Third Assistant City Prosecutor City Prosecution Office, Davao City 1981-1983
Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor City Prosecution Office, Davao City 1979-1981
Special Counsel City Prosecution Office, Davao City 1977-1979


  • Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Member
  • Davao Lions International - Chinatown chapter, Member
  • Davao Practical Shooting Association, Member
  • On Any Sunday Riders, Member

External Link




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