The 16th Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has been a controversial political icon even before becoming the leader of the nation. Hailing from Mindanao, he became the oldest person to assume the presidency at 71 years old.
Dubbed as “The Punisher” and the “Dirty Harry of Davao,” Duterte preferred to hang out with Davao City’s toughs and street smarts. This experience made him connect better with the mass, which is perhaps one of the reasons why he won the 2016 Presidential Election. Although many Filipinos still support the current president, there are plenty of things they might not know about the politician.
Here are 10 FACTS about President Duterte:
He was expelled from school. TWICE.
President Duterte was a notorious kid. In fact, he got kicked out of school twice in his youth due to misconduct. However, this experience did not stop him from getting a quality education. He graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science at the Lyceum of the Philippines in Manila. He obtained a law degree from San Beda College of Law in 1972.
He is a Cebuano.
The Dutertes are originally from Cebu. President Duterte also considers several political families in Cebu as his relatives. His late father used to be a mayor in Cebu. President Duterte is still playing with the idea of retiring in Cebu.
He served 22 years as Davao’s Mayor.
Duterte won seven terms and served as the Mayor of Davao for more than two decades, making him the longest-serving mayor in the city.
He used to give the police groceries during his time as Mayor.
According to a Time Magazine article, the former mayor reportedly made a policy of “doling out groceries to cops to prevent police from accepting bribes. However, such kindness didn’t await those who were caught in the act.
He begins work at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
In his recent national address, President Rodrigo Duterte says that he is a night person and that his day begins at 2PM and that he works onward until 12AM or 2AM. He claims, “If there is an emergency, I do not sleep.”
He was ranked fifth among all Filipino politicians included in the list of 2010 most trusted individuals by Reader’s Digest.
Duterte’s somewhat unconventional leadership has been praised by Filipinos who are longing for peace and order. According to Numbero.com, he had been instrumental in turning Davao City into the world’s 5th safest city during his time as Mayor.
He is a bookworm.
In 2015, the President invited Rappler to visit his home. Rappler discovered that Duterte particularly loves spy novels by famous authors Robert Ludlum and Sidney Sheldon. He also has an appetite for history books, specifically those about Mindanao history.
He is the first Filipino lawyer-president who didn’t top the bar exam.
Aside from being the first to have the biggest leap from a local to a national position, Duterte’s also the first lawyer since Ferdinand Marcos to win the presidential elections. While Marcos, as well as other former presidents like Macapagal, Quirino, and Roxas, topped the bar exams, Duterte did not top the bar exam.
He claims to be abused by a priest as a child.
Although raised in a catholic household, President Duterte is not one for church nor religion. Duterte has never been a fan of the Catholic Church, specifically the priests. According to him, he was abused by a priest in Ateneo during his time there.
He is Pro-RH Bill.
Duterte recommends family planning because “it is something good for the people.” In fact, he once encouraged several couples attending a community wedding to have no more than three children.