President Rodrigo Duterte said Saturday that the next Philippine president should be compassionate, and preferably a lawyer.
In an interview with Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, Duterte narrated the qualities Filipino voters must look for in choosing his successor.
He shared how he was able to develop compassion because of his late father, Davao Governor Vicente Duterte, who showed compassion for the people he served.
“If there is somebody who would ask me on what it would be, sabihin ko [I would say], you must love the human being. Kailangan mahal mo talaga ang kapwa mo tao" (you should have great love for people), he said.
"Kasi kami nagbiru-biruan [noon], sabi ko 'paglaki ko, congressman ako.' Sabi ng tatay ko, 'No, first of all, kailangan mahal mo ‘yung tao,’” he added.
(When I jokingly told may father that I want to be a congressman someday, he said, 'No. First of all, you should love the people.')
But President Duterte clarified that his compassion is in short supply for those involved in illegal drugs.
“So, [he/she] must be compassionate. Pero extreme lang ako. Maawain ako pero pagka durugista ka? Anak ng… Umalis ka na lang diyan, barilin ko ‘yang it—,” he said.
The Duterte administration is facing possible International Criminal Court (ICC) scrutiny over alleged crimes against humanity, stemming from the government's bloody war on drugs.
The ICC probe, which was deferred in November 2021 upon the request of the Philippine government, arose from the complaint of the families of those killed in the drug war, and from human rights advocates.
Based on government records, over 6,000 drug suspects have been killed during the police's anti-drug operations since Duterte assumed office on June 30, 2016.
Decisive, good judge of character
Further, Duterte said the next leader should also be decisive, emphasizing that he prefers someone who is also a lawyer.
“Hindi naman ako nagsabi it’s the best quality, but one of the good qualities of a president, sana abugado. Isang tingin mo lang maka-decide ka na kaagad, and the repercussions, alam mo na kung ano. Whatever kind of --- how would you say --- issue or --- alam mo na,” he added.
(I’m not saying it's the best quality, but one of my preferred profession for a president is that of being lawyer. One who could make decisions as the need arises, and know the repercussions. Whatever kind of issue or anything, one would know how to deal with it.)
Only Vice President Leni Robredo and Jose Montemayor, Jr. are lawyers among the ten presidential candidates for Eleksyon 2022.
Lastly, a good judge of character should also be evident of his successor, Duterte noted.
“You are able to delegate powers because you know their character,” he added.
Duterte earlier quipped that it was up to voters to choose which Ilocano would lead the country after his term ends in a few months.
Presidential candidate Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., the running mate of Duterte’s daughter Sara, was from Ilocos Norte.
Duterte however said he would not endorse Marcos for president in the coming polls, even if his daughter is Bongbong's running mate. He also maintained that he would like to stay neutral on the matter. —LBG, GMA News