DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Should he become president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte vows to build peace among different forces in the country within 3 to 6 months.
Duterte made this promise as he spoke to hundreds of residents of Barangay Durian in Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte, after the New People's Army released abducted soldier Corporal Adriano Bingil on New Year's Eve.
The tough-talking mayor said his peace and order agenda involves discussions with different groups, such as the Communist Party of the Philippines' National Democratic Front (NDF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), indigenous peoples, and groups who have been victims of injustice.
"I will go into inclusive talks with all – NPA, CPP, NDF, and I would talk to the MNLF, MILF," he said. "You cannot promote peace in this country by remaining divisive in your dimensions about the struggles of life. Alam mo, pag sulo ka gihapon, nag aligotgot (you know, when you culture anger and hatred in you), how can you build a nation? Because peace must be inclusive, it must involve everybody, maskin kinsa ang presidente (whoever the president is)."
Duterte also reiterated his pledge to stop corruption, illegal drugs, and criminality.
"Ako wala ko'y kuan sa criminals, ug sa druga wala jud to ana." (I don't want drugs and criminals, I don't.)
Duterte, tagged as the country's "Punisher" and "Dirty Harry," has been criticized by human rights activists for his iron-fist approach to criminality.
In his latest political advertisement released in December 2015, the presidential candidate had this message for drug traffickers, corrupt officials, and other criminals: “Kung ayaw ninyong huminto at patuloy pa rin ang karahasan, ito na ang huli ninyong Merry Christmas.” (If you will not stop and the violence continues, this will be your last Merry Christmas.) – Rappler.com