Sep
03
The Rise of the Philippines’ Rodrigo Duterte | NowThis World


Populist. Protector. Punisher. And Problematic. Those are are just a few words that
been used to describe Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th president of the Philippines. His straight-talking, no-nonsense style of leadership has made him a hero to many in the Philippines. [Duterte] If i think you should die. You will die. [Duterte] I’d be happy to slaughter them. But his brutal, authoritarian approach
to politics and law enforcement have raised serious human rights concerns – as well as threaten the delicate
balance of alliances in the region. So how did Rodrigo Duterte rise to power? Born in 1945 in the southern Philippines — some say Rodrigo Duterte
was destined for office from the start. We spoke with Jonathan Miller, a foreign correspondent for Channel 4 News, who’s written a biography on Duterte
to help us better understand who he is. [Miller] He was about the most privileged
kid in the southern island of Mindanao. [Host] When he was just four years old, his family packed up their
belongings and moved to Davao city — where his father would eventually
become governor of the province. The Duterte’s ran a tight ship — according
to the kids, the house had strict rules. Rodrigo said to be his mother’s favorite child —
was rebellious and known as a prankster. His youngest sister, Jocelyn, told philippine media that her older brother would often muse that one day he might become mayor of Davao. [Miller] As the governor’s son. he was assigned a bodyguard. His parents were often away because they
were so busy but he would hang out with bodyguards and then he learn how to shoot guns. And he still cultivated this mythology
that has surrounded him ever since. That he was this rough edge guy from the slums of Davao that could now sort out the Philippines and all its problems. [Host] But if he wanted to achieve his dream of becoming a leader, he would have to learn a few lessons first. His rebellious nature would often get him in trouble in school. He was expelled not once, but twice for misbehaving. [Miller] His father called him a “bugoy” which is a word in the local language they use in the
southern Philippines which means hoodlem. Then in 1968, something would happen that would shake 23-year-old Rodrigo into shape — the death of his father. Duterte became determined to become a leader. He went to law school in 1968. But like much of his life, this success was also riddled with troubling . In his final year of law school, Duterte shot
and wounded a fellow student that he accused of being a bully. Duterte never faced criminal charges. Despite this, he became a lawyer in
1972 and got married a year later. Over the next few years, Duterte would prepare to enter into the public sector. First he set his sights on Davao City. In the 1970s and 80s, Davao City was
known as the “murder capital” of the Philippines. It was incredibly dangerous city, where communist insurgents and government forces would openly kill each other in broad daylight. Duterte wanted to stop this — by any means necessary. So he became a prosecutor for the city from 1977 – 1986. He worked to rid the city of criminal activity. He was so determined to lock up the very people he blamed for Davao’s crime rate, that he was willing to do whatever it took — even if it meant breaking the law himself. Years later, he admitted that during his time as a prosecutor he and his team would plant information of criminal suspects to get them off the streets. This ruthless style of accomplishing his goals made Duterte a popular figure among Davao’s population and would become a common trend throughout his life. [Miller] He rose to power because he said he would get down and dirty to sort out the problems. [Host] And then, in 1988, he achieved his childhood dream — becoming the mayor of the city he grew up in. He was elected on a platform focused on restoring peace and stability to Davao City. But shortly after he became mayor, bodies began to pile up in the streets. An armed vigilante group known as the Davao Death Squad began killing small-time drug dealers and petty criminals. Allegedly, the group also targeted Duterte’s political opponents. [Miller] And pretty much scared the living daylights out of everybody in Davao so that everybody sort of behaved. Davao city remains the murder and rape capital of the Philippines. [Host] But he continued to be re-elected. He was mayor of Davao city for seven terms, becoming one of the country’s longest-serving mayors. And his brutal campaign to stomp out crime only escalated as his time in office grew. More than 1,400 people are believed to have died at the hands of the Davao Death squads, including an outspoken Duterte critic and journalist. Years later, a former police officer who led the death squad came forward and accused Duterte of giving him the orders to kill him. Duterte denied these allegations, saying they were lies. All the while, Duterte was having trouble at home. His marriage was dissolving. But in the Philippines, one of the only countries in the world to ban divorce, Duterte had to undergo psychological assessment for the annulment of his marriage to be recognized by state in1998. That report was later leaked to the press and it concluded that Duterte had “narcissistic personality disorder” and a “pervasive tendency to demean, humiliate others and violate their rights.” Nonetheless, he continued to impose his political will. And now Duterte, a man who never lost an election, had a larger dream. A dream of taking his iron-fist style of leadership nationwide. In 2015, Duterte announced his
campaign to become president of the Philippines. And he promised if he was elected he would execute 100,000 more “criminals” and dump their bodies in Manila Bay. And he wasn’t joking. Leading up to the presidential election, he even claimed responsibility for a number of extrajudicial killings, which
drew little public criticism from other elected officials. Quite possibly, because they knew his campaign
for the presidency was nearly unstoppable. And in May 2016, Duterte finally did it — he won the presidency in a landslide victory. And he did exactly what he said he was going to do during his campaign. He took his brutal Davao city anti-crime campaign nationwide, rebranding it as his “war on drugs.” [Miller] from day one he launched in to
what became known as his war against drugs and very quickly a lot of people began to
die in a very nasty ways in the streets of the Philippines. It allowed police officers and armed militias to work, and kill, with near impunity. [Duterte] In destroying and perhaps killing the criminals, I will be there for you. I will never, never allow any military man or police to go to jail unjustly for performing his duties. That you have my commitment. [Host] According to the investigative journalism project, The Drug Archive, at least 4,279 people were killed by police operations in Duterte’s drug war as of May 2018. Another 22,000 homicides are under investigation
that were possibly linked to drugs, according to the government’s calculations. But Human rights groups and critics fear
the death toll in Duterte’s war to be much higher. The president has even joyfully compared his campaign to kill drug offenders to Adolf Hitler’s
extermination of millions of jewish people. [Host] Despite this, or maybe because of this, Duterte has been incredibly popular as president — enjoying as high as a 91 % approval rating at times. [Miller] But the one promise that he certainly hasn’t broken was that the streets will flow with blood in the Philippines. [Host] Regardless of the negative international response, Duterte remains determined to continue
his bloody campaign until the very end. [Duterte] My campaign against drug will not stop until the end of my term 6 years from now. Until every [drug dealer,] ever drug lord …