There’s a “New” Guy in Town — Duterte


 Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte

 Party:  PDP-Laban

 Born      Rodrigo Roa Duterte

March 28, 1945 (age 70)
Maasin City, Southern Leyte

 Civil Status: Married to Elizabeth Zimmerman (annulled); Domestic Partner: Honeylet Avancena

Children:  Paolo, Sara, Sebastian, Veronica

Parents:  Vicente G. Duterte of Cebu (who served as Governor of Davao) and Soledad Roa of Cabadbaran City, Agusan del Norte


  • Duterte finished his secondary education at the Holy Cross Academy of Digos in Digos City, Davao del Sur, after also attending Ateneo de Davao
  • He graduated in 1986 with aBachelor of Arts degree from the Lyceum of the Philippines University in Manila
  • He obtained a law degree fromSan Beda College in Manila in 1972 and passed the bar examination the same year


  • Special Counsel at the City Prosecution Office in Davao City from 1977-1979
  • Fourth Assistant City Prosecutor from 1979-1981
  • Third Assistant City Prosecutor from 1981-1983
  • Second Assistant City Prosecutor from 1983-1986

Political Experience:

  • Appointed officer-in-charge of Davao City after the 1986 People Power Revolution
  • Mayor of Davao City (1988 – 1998)
  • Member of thePhilippine House of Representatives from Davao City’s 1st District (1998 – 2001)
  • Mayor of Davao City (2001 – 2010)
  • Vice Mayor of Davao City (2010 – 2013)
  • Mayor of Davao City (2013 – present)


Comparing Duterte to the other presidential candidates:

Presidential Scorecard - Updated

Please click on graphic for a larger and clearer image.


Some notes on the Duterte ranking:

Integrity  – Good moral character and a clean lifestyle – Duterte has made no secret of his womanizing – having 2 wives and 2 mistresses.  Aside from his brash manners, including using profanity and indirectly insulting the Pope, he gets a zero.

Stewardship – He wants to eliminate corruption and criminality and his approach of condoning and espousing extrajudicial killings is a mark of a strongman or dictator and is a black mark for Duterte.  A positive for Duterte’s is his approach to governance has led to less corruption in his watch in Davao; but the way he did it was through instilling fear which nevertheless produced result;  thus a 0.5 rating on stewardship

Reform – Tolerating and publicly declaring that he will kill criminals violates human rights and he is consistent in the way he handles people committing crime (the Duterte Way); he cannot get a 1 (and above) score though – because his public record is far from being “clean”. There is no place in a democratic society for the violation of human rights and all what we’ve gained form the dismantling of Marcos’ martial law will have been naught.  Internationally, Duterte has been condemned for violating or espousing violation of human rights.

Additional notes:

Duterte relishes and reinforces the bad boy image.  He curses, he does not deny his womanizing ways, he is photographed with a high powered assault weapon, he speaks the speak, and walks the walk.

And there’s this fear (or risk) about Duterte.  He has the temperament and the leadership outlook that can lead to the reimposition of martial law.  We hope not, but the character of the man as a badass is further bolstered by his being a self-proclaimed womanizer, his stance on getting rid of criminals (tolerance of extrajudicial killings), and his foul language and “five-finger” salute.

Galen S. Altavas

Galen Altavas has worked in both the private and public sectors both in the Philippines and the United States, as a rural banker, fishpond operator, marketing manager, financial analyst, IT manager and IT project manager. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Ateneo de Manila University and an MBA in Finance from the Seattle University in Seattle, WA. He resides in Baybay, Roxas City, Philippines and Seattle, WA.