By Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews
DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) — Days before President-elect Rodrigo Roa Duterte declared a boycott of the media on June 2, 2016, MindaNews had asked the first Mindanawon to govern this country of 100.98 million, for a sit-down interview, as it had asked him in the past, on major issues confronting this city of 1.63 million.
Arrangements were made with Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Duterte’s Executive Assistant, for “A Day with the President-elect” where the interview would be done after lunch (which is usually when his day begins) and the MindaNews team would follow him in his next schedules until his day would end at dawn.
June 2, however, turned out to be his last press conference. Immediately thereafter, journalists (national, international, and yes, local) were barred from entering the compound of the Department of Public Works and Highways in Panacan, where the Presidential Guesthouse (dubbed under the Arroyo administration as “Malacañang of the South” and now popularly referred to as “Panacañang”) is located.
When he will lift his boycott, no one can say for now. He has repeatedly said in speeches after June 2 that he would not talk to media until the end of his six-year term.
In lieu of what would have been a Q and A that MindaNews would have published in the run-up to his oath-taking as President, we are re-publishing this Q and A done in November 2001, shortly after Duterte announced in his Sunday TV program, “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” (From the Masses, For the Masses), the names of 500 persons who he said could help the city in its fight against drugs. At the time of the interview, at least four of those on the list had been killed or ended up dead. Another 17 suspected drug pushers and celfone snatchers, four of them minors, were eventually slain soon after.
Between 2001 and 2016, Duterte had been investigated several times by the Commission on Human Rights, including a 2009 probe by then CHR chair and now Senator Leila de Lima, and other international human rights groups. But no charges have been filed against him.
Fifteen years had lapsed since MindaNews ran this interview with Duterte, who prefers to be called “Mayor of the Philippines” instead of “President.”
In his own words, here is Mayor-President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, interviewed in 2001 but speaking like he does today.
Duterte Revisited: What he said in 2001
By Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews
First of Three Parts
28 November 2001: “Pinaka-unfair sa lahat ng krimen ang drugs”
MANY in Davao City were “shocked,” to say the least, to see their controversial mayor on national television late Tuesday night last week, talking tough (his expletives unedited), toting a gun and kicking the corpse of a suspected drug pusher reportedly killed by the vigilante group, “Davao Death Squad” (DDS).
Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, 56, knew he’d be featured on “The Probe Team” but didn’t watch it, claiming he doesn’t want to watch himself on TV or listen to the radio.
Duterte has repeatedly said he doesn’t give a damn what his critics say about him. But among millions of viewers that Tuesday night, the only person whose feedback he cared about was Sara, his only daughter who is studying Law in Manila.
“She said it was bad enough that the expletives I uttered were not edited… She said ‘you were portrayed somehow as being linked to the DDS by the way you framed your answers,'” Duterte said.
“I was quick to point out to my daughter that if it’s a matter of government abetting the killings or having sponsored the slayings or encouraged or had taken initiatives, it’s absolutely false because the mayorship or I had nothing to do with it. Pero sinasakyan ko… because to be really truthful and honest about it, I would rather see criminals dead than innocent victims die, being killed senselessly.”
He then cited several cases of killings by people, including minors, under the influence of drugs.
Last month, Duterte announced in his Sunday TV show the names of 500 people whom he said could help the city in its fight against drugs. At least four of those on the list had been killed or ended up dead.
At least 17 suspected drug pushers and celfone snatchers, four of them minors, were killed by suspected vigilantes last month. Since 1995, at least 150 persons have been reported to have been felled by the vigilantes.
That his name is being linked with the DDS does not seem to bother Duterte.
A government prosecutor (from 1977 to 1986), Duterte was named OIC Vice Mayor of Davao City in 1986, was mayor from 1988 to 1998, moved on to become congressman of the first district and reclaimed the mayoralty this year.
The day after “The Probe Team” featured the vigilante killings, Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla wrote a pastoral letter, “Thou shall not kill,” made public last Sunday through the masses in all parishes. The letter finally broke the “long silence” of the Church on the vigilante killings in the city.
But who are the vigilantes? Is Duterte behind them? Is he their godfather?
Duterte sat down with MindaNews’ Carolyn O. Arguillas one evening last week to answer these and more.
Excerpts from the interview follow:
Q. Why did you make that list public?
A. I was appealing to the patriotism, the civic spirit I might rekindle in the minds, hearts of these people. (Also) to put them on guard (that) we know something about you (so) you stop it. Second, the community must know. For example, neighbor mo..
Q. But it’s being viewed as witchhunting. A number of those on the list…
A. No it’s not withchunting. There was a process that we followed. Of the five families who were outraged by my announcement and who came to me really angry, after I showed them the proof…. yung isa gusto pa nya suntukin sa harap ko yung anak nya… Besides, I laid the predicate in my announcement. I said I’d like to mention the names of persons here in the city… who can be of help to us if they would just be patriotic enough to help government and try to save the generations from being devastated by drugs.
Q. But the list, it is said, spared the rich, that most of those on the list are poor, a number of them minors…
A. It’s not a matter of minor or a person of age. That’s what I was trying to explain to ‘The Probe Team.’ Because..that guy who shot and killed that girl (whose celfone was snatched inside a taxi), he was only 17. When the mind is devastated by drugs, the age doesn’t really make a difference, whether you are 17, 50 or 70. When you go crazy, you go crazy. (Age) does not count anymore. Most of these are aged 18, 19, either sinasaksak nila yung mga estudyante dyan … or binabaril….
Q. I think one of the reasons why you are being linked to the DDS is because the killings stopped during the term of (then Mayor Benjamin) de Guzman and returned when you came back.
A. Hindi baya. Remember that de Guzman filed a case against this priest because he declared to the world that de Guzman is the head of a death squad that at that time killed two snatchers? I hope that they would temper their conclusions about me. Pero kung sabihin mo na naawa ako (sa victims), sinabi ko naman eh, do not ask for a tear. I never shed tears for mga ganong klaseng tao.
Q. Is that the solution? Finishing them off?
A. No it’s not. Killing can never be the solution to what ails this country.
Q. What’s the solution?
A. ..we have to try to mature as a nation and add more policemen. For example, for the city of Davao, so I can patrol and build a case against them individually, I would need about 5,000 policemen which we cannot have, and improve police methods, yung mga night vision and maybe listening devices which unfortunately we cannot afford for the next 10 years or so.
Q. There was a dialogue between teenage gang members and some legislators. The teeners said some of them got hooked to drugs because of policemen pushing drugs, that they became indebted to the policemen so they became user-pusher.
A. I do not know of any policeman direkta na ganon. But if (there) is, then he’s a dead policeman…
Q. A UN agency on drug control has said the city government should..
A. I don’t give a sh_t what they say. I don’t have a treaty with them.
Q. You’re not bothered about people refering to you as the godfather of DDS?
A. No. Because it’s not true. So if the truth will set you free, I am free because there is no such thing as a government-sponsored killing in the city.
Q. Who are the vigilantes?
A. I really do not know. A guy who went public in a newspaper interview said he’s a former rebel and he claims it is composed of former rebels and policemen. I even suffered a rebuke (that the) mayor is putting up a time limit that is not realistic. So may timetable pala sila… their own timetable.
Q. If you’re saying it’s not you, then who’s behind these vigilantes?
A. Yung mga tatay na hindi tumatanggap ng ganon. Maybe they were just waiting for somebody na kakampi nila dyan who also nurtures this kind of outrage sa drugs…
A. Maybe. You cannot move if you do not have the money. In all probability, these are people who have the means to pay (the vigilantes) at kung totoo yung sinasabi ng lumabas sa newspaper, maybe yung may tinamaan talaga (yung mga anak)… Ako personally, personally ha — not as mayor because may oath of office ka pagka mayor ka, you protect the Constitution, follow the Constitution, protect everyone’s rights — but if I were an ordinary citizen of this city tapos tinamaan ang anak ko, maybe ganon din ang gagawin ko. Talagang hihirit ako, put–nang yan hihiritan ko yan. I mean it’s not really fair. It’s not fair… Rich or poor, ang lahat ng efforts mo sa buhay nandon sa anak mo… Lahat tayo, corny man pakinggan, we do not even live, we exist for our children…. lahat ng efforts mo, pera mo nandoon sa bata, eskuela …… Mas gusto ko pa yang kidnapping pati hold-up. Ikidnap mo anak ko, isauli mo lang, maghingi ka ng pera, babayaran kita, then the next time I will just really guard my children with my life… Put–na itong drugs, pagsinabit mo ang anak ko, I have lost the child forever. He loses his mind, he loses his future…you leave with me a goddamn criminal in the making, kasi pag wala nang pera, wala nang manakaw sa akin, magnanakaw yan sa iba, maghoholdup sa iba, magre-rape yan, maghohostage… Pinaka-unfair sa lahat ng krimen ang drugs. Meron pa dito sa Davao, hindi ko lang sabihin ang (pangalan), well-to-do, ni-rape nya yung sister, pinasok nya sa kwarto, pag pasok ng tatay pati nanay, tinutukan nya ng (cal.) 45 na baril… I’m sure pag nabasa nya (ito), malaman nya na alam ko.
DUTERTE REVISITED: What he said in 2001
By Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews
Second of Three Parts
29 November 2001: “I will even shoot my son in front of you”
Q. They’re saying your son, your relatives are also involved in drugs.
A. ..Pati ako raw… Nag-research ako, and I studied the matter very carefully, seriously. Sinabi ko sa anak ko (Paolo), ‘wag na wag kang pumasok dyan sa put–nang droga na yan kasi gagawain kitang example. Kung kaya kong mag-resign (nung) nanuntok ka lang, kaya kitang patayin kung…hiyain mo ako.’ I resigned (as congressman) for a very trivial reason…. nanuntok (ang anak ko) ng security guard tapos inatake ako kay hindi maka-file (ng kaso) kasi daw congresman ang tatay….di mag-resign tayo so you can file charges. Unfortunately, nobody accepted my resignation but I was ready to go down.
This time I’m ready. Just produce a credible and true witness (that my son is involved in drugs) and I’m going to resign as mayor of Davao City and I will shoot my son in front of you. Siguraduhin mo lang yan kay pag hindi, ikaw talaga babarilin ko. Yan ang trade off ko sa iyo. I will resign from the mayorship anytime. I don’t have any illusions dyan sa mayor mayor na ‘yan. I can always run again and win. I can sacrifice a few years. I can lose my child. Dalawa yang anak ko (na lalaki). May mga apo na ako na lalaki. I can lose (my son)…. Ngayon kung maniwala yung mga tao (that my son is into drugs) bahala ka. My son is there, you can ask him to go for a drug test .. but I will not insult my son by asking him publicly so kung sino yung interesado, kausapin ninyo anak ko. Just produce a true, credible witness against my son and I will resign. And I will even shoot him in front of you.
Q. Were you ever asked by Malacanang about the vigilante killings here?
A. Wala. Well, I know my style. In this game, you cannot afford to (be on) low profile (because if you do that), walang mangyari… Look at the three years (1998-2001). What did it produce? A very resurgent drug situation. So I had to go back all over again. Kaya nga sinabi ko kay (Local Governments) Sec. (Joey) Lina when they offered me the regional chairmanship of the Peace and Order Council — now I can make this public — I declined… Sabi ko, ‘maghanap na lang kayo (ng iba) dyan because you might not like my style. I have my own style of doing it.’ Sabi nila, ‘well as long as your style is legal and good then proceed.’ Sabagay, legal gud talaga yang ginagawa ko..
Q. Let me go back to the solution. Maturing as a people takes so long. What is the immediate solution?
A. I think we would require from kindergarten (to) college, a lecture everyday on the evil of drugs..
Q. Where is the supply of illegal drugs here coming from?
A. Cotabato and Marawi but we suspect that there’s a factory nearby which I’m not at liberty to divulge to you right now.
Q. Within the city?
A. No. Peripheral cities.
A. .this guy who’s manufacturing it knows that I know and a lot of us in the law enforcement know.
Q. So how come you’re not raiding it if you know…
A. Well, one of these days, kung na-DDS yan, ah hindi ako yan..
Q. .. if you know, why don’t you go after him?
A. Because you have to have evidence. You cannot just approach him anywhere and everywhere. May militia ito na sarili nya. Ganyan man talaga yang mga druglords na big-time. Ito ang pinaka. As a matter of fact, pag ito ang nakuha ko, puede na akong mag-retire pagka mayor..
Q. How bad is the problem of drugs here?
A. Very bad. Look at the list of 500… validated yan, 250 of them have been convicted, on parole or on bail. Yan ngang mahirap sa problema sa drugs…kasi pag-evaluate, assess na kung puede ba sya sa probation, good behavior is enough….automatic ang probation…. paglabas, babalik na naman (sa droga).
Q. What about rehabilitation? You don’t believe in rehab?
A. Wala tayo dito… next year baka maghingi ako kay Presidente… for a rehab dito sa Davao, regional (rehabilitation center). Because a rehab for that kind of, actually it’s a sickness eh, you would need a prison. Otherwise mag-eskapo yan.
Q. A prison?
A. Because when they are caught, they are not tried (in court)… they now opt to be treated… pag nilagay mo yan sa bintana na walang (rehas), a manibat na. Preso gyud na. Presohin mo talaga.
Q. How big will your rehabilitation center be?
A. …maybe I would need a facility good for 300 persons. Hindi halfway house. It’s really a rehab center and it’s almost like a prison.
Q. But rehab centers now don’t go into preso-preso..
A. Ah magsibat yan. Remember I was prosecutor for 11 years before I became a mayor. Sisibat yan…
Q. You were seen on TV kicking the corpse of..
A. Review again. Review again.
Q. I saw you on TV.
A. Nah, nah. May granada yon. Ano ako, gago, mag-upo ako..eh pag pumutok yan sa mukha ko?.. Kaya binaligtad ko yung katawan, nakita mo yung granada?
…Review the footage again, please. Hindi ako ganon kagago na may camera na magsipa. Ginanon ko kasi sabi, ‘Sir, ma-o nang gagunit ug granada.’
Q. In the meantime that the vigilantes are busy, what is your police doing?
A. Maybe they are also going after the vigilantes. Excuse me ha, yung footage na yon sayop yun. Tingnan mo uli. Binaligtad ko yung katawan because may granada. Eh kung mag-upo ako tapos ganunin ko yung katawan ko eh kung puputok yon? Mabuti nakatindig, at least pag nakita mo yung granada, di mulukso ka…
Q. October was the month of the killings. What was the feedback direct to you? More criticisms? More praises?
A. I don’t give a sh-t. I don’t give a sh-t whether they are for or against me. I was elected by the people after I promised them that I would go after kidnappers, druglords, drug pushers, holduppers and rapists… That’s already a non-issue to me. What they say for or against me, I don’t give a damn, I don’t give a sh-t. Tapos na yan. What I should do now is to honor my commitment because the people voted for me on the basis of my commitment and my promise to them… All things come naturally, infrastructure, public works. You can project the things you need. Crime? Can you project how many people will be contaminated by drugs, how many will be killed, how many girls will be raped?
Q. What’s the drug profile here like? Does it cut across..
A. Malala dito. Even professionals…Hayun, nasira ang mga pamilya.
Q. You said you’re not behind it but “sinasakyan” mo lang. But due process requires.
A. Due process is the thing that I should be following when I do it. Alam mo itong mga vigilantes….and it is really true for any human behavior…. sabihin mo ‘wag mong gawin yan,’ pag gusto nyang gawin, gagawin man talaga nya yan. Sabihin mo ‘hoy mga gago, mga buang, gawin nyo ito’ tapos ayaw naman nilang gawin, wala. So bahala kayo. Pag nahuli, sige, go ahead, kayong mga drug pushers, magtago na kayo, may mga gago on the loose pero kung mahuli ko kayong mga vigilantes, then that’s it. You also go to prison.
Q. You’re not gonna shoot them?
A. Well, I might just give them a dose of their own medicine. Ang sinasabi ko lang dito sa mga vigilantes, mga put–na na ito, ang problema ngayon, baka ipalusot ninyo yang patay ninyo, na pumatay lang kayo ng tao para sabihin lang ninyo na ‘ah drug pusher yan, druglord yan.’ Yan ang mahirap. One of these days I will catch up with them (vigilantes) and they’ll have to pay the price….because… whether it’s true or not, it’s already a crime but what makes it doubly sad for all of us is baka ang pinatay nila hindi nga (drug pusher). Then by the time I catch up…
DUTERTE REVISITED: What he said in 2001
By Carolyn O. Arguillas/MindaNews
Last of Three Parts
November 30, 2001: “Totally, totally, totally unacceptable”
Q. It seems like some other local chief executives are following your example.
A. Copycats. (Pause). Ah, example? Eh kung pinapatay ninyo, gago kayo, bawal yan. Salita lang, hanggang salita ka lang dapat dyan tapos let the others do it if they want. But if they are caught, again it’s your duty to punish them. Sakyan mo na lang….
Q. You’re not afraid? That druglords would..
A. I am, I am….there’s a report. I do not want to make it public, I do not want sympathies. But you always tread on dangerous paths… Kung wa tay suerte, di ganon na nga but I said I do what I have to do.
Q. If I were a druglord, I’d probably target you.
A. Mabuti yan kasi ako nakatutok rin sa iyo.
Q. I mean, if we follow their… you’re an obstacle.
A. Yes, because they’re losing business dito sa Davao…. They cannot really be based here — walang homegrown na criminal syndicate dito sa Davao — yan mapagyabang ko yan. Kidnapper, wala. Sa labas yan sila… sa peripheral cities. Yang kanilang pasok, they utilize the teenagers kasi alam nila teenagers dili mapreso eh…. always minors yang mga runners nila kasi pag minors, pagdating sa korte, suspended ang trial. The minor now goes to a halfway house, magsisibat yan or if at all they are caught… halos lahat na nahuli sa drugs… may perang pang bail (so) labas na naman yan sila, the following day laro naman. So if you’re doing brisk business in Davao, maski ganon ang delivery system mo, konti-konti lang, below 200 kasi bailable ang below 200 grams, masasaktan ka. And they (druglords) also correctly read me – nagpaplano rin ako sa kanila. Maybe one of these days, our paths will cross suddenly. It’s either their skin or mine… But I just want to assure everybody that there is no such thing as government-sponsored killing, initiated, abetted or encouraged by government. That is utterly false, I swear to God. Walang budget ang gobyerno para ganon.
Q. Narcopolitics is…
A. It will come.
Q. It’s not here?
A. I fear that one of these days it will just really come. Pagkaganon ang kinita nila, they can now support a mayor who’s a fencesitter…. Sa totoo lang, sino mang official nagsalita about drugs? Puro lip service…. ako, at least may ginagawa ako dito maski salita lang (na) “patayin ko kayo.”
Q. How much money on the average, daily, changes hands in the city in illegal drugs?
A. P600,000 to P700,000 daily. …may nahuli ngayon o yesterday, two kilos….I just came in from Manila. They will be presented tomorrow. Eh kung totoo yan, eh di pinatay ko na yan, laliman ka two kilos?
Q. (Laughs) Kay wala ka man, you were in Manila.
A. Cellular lang man na. Hello, hello..(laughs). Bu-ng. Pataka lang ka (laughs)
Q. P600,000 to 700,000? That’s a lot of money.
A. That’s a lot of battered brains. Kita mo, the city is cosmopolitan, 500 yung naglalaro dito, yung nasa listahan..half of that or a third of that validated na.
Q. Of the 500 on the list, how many approached you, aside from the families you mentioned.
A. More than a third of them naghingi ng tawad and … wanted their names delisted. Sabi ko, ‘no, your name stays there. All you have to do is to behave and I assure you nothing will happen.’ Because hindi naman talaga siguro papatay ang mga DDS kung wala ka na, gago naman tong mga vigilantes kung ganon. Sabi ko nga, pag nagkamali kayo na pinapatay na inosente eh di
pag inabot ko kayo, sila puy akong putulan ug ulo.
Q. Kung dili diay inosente, okay ra?
A. Hindi naman pero mas grabe kung (inosente). Doble nga eh. The fact that its’ being done is already sad. But to do it for personal reasons tapos i-attribute mo lang na drugs tapos wala naman pala, then you’re really sh-t.
Q. Isn’t this a slap on the face of the police?
A. No. The mayor has the operational control of the police. It’s a slap on me.
Q. It’s a slap on your face.
A. I admit full responsibility for the failure of the police to catch the vigilantes and
Q. And the drug pushers as well?
A. At least naghina na. That’s what I promised the people. I said you vote for me, I’ll do this. And sinakyan ko yung mga gago dyan (vigilantes). Maybe encouraged sila because bumalik na ako and they know that hardliner ako dyan sa crime. Sinakyan nila ako, sinakyan ko rin sila. Alang-alang magsabi ako na ‘o mga vigilantes, wag kayong pumatay, yung mga drug pushers dyan, hayaan lang ninyo, kung sa mahuli lang, kung hindi mahuli pasensyahan na lang.’ Ganon? Ah, patay ang syudad kung ganyan.. Lubong. With 1,600 policemen, 255,000 square hectares, 1.4 million population, you expect the police to solve every crime, not only to solve but build a case against each and every one of them? Ah, naghahanap ka ng langit nyan. That’s utopia. That’s Republic of Utopia. It’s not a republic anywhere in this planet.
Q. But we’re talking human rights here.
A. Human rights is there. Pero most of all, yang human rights is really for the defenseless, the hopeless, yung wala na silang matakbuhan. That’s my governance.
Q. Why do you like to be more chief of police than chief executive?
A. Because from my experience, if the place is not stable, forget about progress and development. I do not want to pull my own chair but to a modest degree, alam nyo na yan dito sa Davao, bakit gumanon tayo ngayon? Because I got rid of the kidnappers. I killed them all. Ah yang kidnappers, talagang I admitted it in public sa kampanya, pinutulan ko talaga ng ulo yung mga walanghiyang yan.
Q. Whatever you say, some people would still look at you as godfather…
A. Over and above all these loose talks, over and above all these allegations about these killings, about me as godfather, grandfather, uncle or whatever, the father of DDS, basta drugs, kidnapping, hold-up… rape tapos pinatay, those crimes are really unacceptable to me. Lalo na yang drugs because I’ve shown to you the dimensions of its inequity. You leave with me a problem which I have to solve for a lifetime…. Iwanan mo ako ng anak na criminal, na I do not know if he would rape his own mother, which is always happening everyday, pakinggan mo lang yang telebisyon, he will hostage his own sister, his own son, put a knife at the neck of an infant.
Ang drugs… totally, totally, and if I may say it for the third time, totally totally unacceptable sa akin, kaya pag andyan ka, ah, lalo na kung druglord ka, bigtime pusher ka, if you’re into kidnapping, if you are into hold-ups tapos ikaw mang-rape ka dyan.. if we happen to cross paths, if our journeys in life would cross each other, ah pasensya, pasensyahan na lang tayo. The President has declared that drugs is a national security problem… The Philippines may be poor… underdeveloped but it’s the only country I have and I love my country….pag this is the survival of my country, you go first… wag yung community, not the innocent people, not the families …
Q. This emphasis on ‘totally, totally totally unacceptable,’ where is this coming from? I mean, just to let the readers understand, what is your basis? A direct experience? Your son’s experience or what?
A. Well lahat na. No my son, wala, I can assure you (he’s not involved in drugs) otherwise I would resign. Yung unfairness…. Ayoko ng kidnapping. Ayoko gani yang magkapera ka sa mundong ito na hindi ka man lang mapagod, you make a living out of the expense of, specially the poor people. I don’t give a sh-t about the AB crowd. They can sniff heroin and shabu, they can afford it. Itong mahihirap, ito yung tinatamaan na talagang tama na wallop. Sila yung mga … very easy, vulnerable targets. Look, read again the newspapers. Before, every night may patay na taxi driver. Why, because they’re the most vulnerable targets. You don’t have money for the night for your shabu, okay, para ka ng taxi. You know he has the money, you can direct the guy to any place in Davao, secluded, silent, puede mong patayin kasi nakatalikod eh. O ngayon, may pinatay pa ba? See? From every night to nothing. Sabi ko totally, totally, totally because total ang focusing ko dyan. Sabi ko mahuli rin kita. One of these days, you watch out…just be patient, sabi nyo talagang malaki, I will get one but I will crucify him in front of the community. Maybe siguro that would be the first time that you can attribute something (to me) na ginagawa ng DDS. Pag talagang malaking-malaki na, ako na personally, wag na yung DDS. Tumabi kayo dyan, ako na mismo ang papapel, ako na ang magpahambug.
Q. How do you want history to remember you?
A. Simple. I did my duty, period. I did what I promised to the people, period. And I tried.
Editor’s note: Fifteen years later, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is assuming the post as 16th President of the Philippines, the first Mindanawon to lead the country. The rehabilitation center he promised – the Davao City Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents does not resemble a prison. Before the city took over its operations, it was called Rehabilitation Center for Drug Dependents and was run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Region XI with the support of the Regional Council for Welfare of Children & Youth.)