In a speech on national television formally declaring his entry into next year's presidential race, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte did not shy away from his usual tough talk, peppering obscenities into an address where he boasted of killing kidnappers and cursing Pope Francis for traffic.
Duterte, who filed his certificate of candidacy for president last November 27, repeatedly slipped expletives — PI seemed to be a favorite — into the rambling speech that went over an hour and 20 minutes and ranged from national matters like crime, governance, and the Constitution to personal matters like loving four women.
Even the Pope wasn't spared, when Duterte recalled at the tail end of his hour-long speech that he was stuck in traffic for hours because of road closures at the wake of the Papal visit last January.
"I have to cut this short, it's five o'clock. Timing pa sa traffic," he told supporters of PDP-Laban. "Alam mo, I advise you, mag-ihi muna kayo.
He said that last January, it took him five hours to travel to the airport.
"Sabi ko, 'Bakit?' Sabi sarado na [ang daan]. Sabi ko, 'Sinong darating?' Sabi si Pope. Gusto kong tawagan, 'Pope, p— ina ka, umuwi ka na. 'Wag ka nang bumisita dito," he quipped.
He pivoted the anecdote to a "vision" for his inauguration he said he had if was elected into office : "Kung manalo akong presidente, do not expect 'yung [mga event sa] Luneta or something. I will just take my oath of office sa opisina. [I will invite the] diplomatic corps, the Armed Forces — baka upakan ako ng mga ['yun], ma-coup d'etat pa, baka magalit. We'll have no more than 100 guests. I will just take my oath there in the office."
He said he will do this so he wouldn't cause traffic.
"I do not disturb the traffic, I do not molest the lives of the people," he told supporters, who met his words with applause. "The least disturbance sa buhay ninyo and sa business... I'll find ways to improve the lives of everyone."
Netizens were quick to react to the mayor's candid anecdote, with some saying it was uncalled for.
Presidential spokesman Erwin Lacierda scored the mayor for the statement.
Mayor Duterte, you can say all you want about politicians but you don't curse my Pope Francis! #defendthepope— Edwin Lacierda (@dawende) November 30, 2015
Other supporters, though, said that while he is not an eloquent speaker, he is "a man of action" and human like others.
His running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, said that is just the way Duterte expresses himself.
"Ganu'n lang talaga siya mag-express, but he means well," he told reporters after the proclamation.
He added: "He does not hurt people based on their ideology and belief. He is just out to get criminals." —Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/JST, GMA News