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Davao City, Philippines

Be on your toes after 2022, Duterte tells Davao City candidates

May 11, 2019 - Saturday 2:05 PM by Ayan Mellejor

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his speech during the HNP-HTL campaign sortie in Davao City on May 10. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

DAVAO CITY – President Rodrigo Duterte called on local candidates and supporters to be on their toes after he steps down from the presidency in 2022, implying it will be a critical period since his opponents might get back at him.

Preparahan ninyo pagkahuman nako (Get ready for the time I step down). It will be critical after my presidency,” Duterte said during the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP)-Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod (HTL) first district Miting de Avance on Friday night at the Davao City Recreation Center here.

“Be on your toes,” he added as he asked local candidates led by HNP founding chair Mayor Sara Duterte to continue supporting each other.

Duterte founded the HTL in 2000 as a local political group, later registering it as a local political party with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

The HNP and the HTL entered into an alliance last year.

Duterte hinted at possible retaliation by his opponents after 2022 because of his war on drugs and corruption.

Sigurado balikan gyud ko nila. Sa balay na lang ko kay ako na pud ang ma-DDS (For sure they will get back at me. I’ll just stay home because I will be the next target of DDS),” he said.

DDS stands for Davao Death Squad, an alleged vigilante group that Duterte has been accused of starting.

Hear IP, Moro voices

The President urged the local parties to include representations from the Indigenous Peoples and the Moro people in the next selection of candidates who will bring the voice of the marginalized communities.

He also suggested to the HNP-HTL that it include one representation for each district.

In this year’s election, HNP has one candidate from the Moro community, Bai Halila Sudagar of the Kagan tribe. Sudagar is also currently sitting in the City Council as the mandatory representative of the IPs on holdover capacity.

The President said it is important to give the IP and Moro the opportunity to serve so they will not think they are only being made as puppets.

“They can only feel they are being marginalized kung wala silay tingog (if they have no voice),” he said.

He also asked Mayor Sara to maintain the Deputy Mayors representing each of the 11 tribes as her alter ego in the communities.

Give me my senatorial bets

The President went on to ask supporters to give him senators who would help his administration push change and attain his goal in his war against illegal drugs and corruption.

Taga-i ko og senador nga maoy among gipili (Give my senators that I have chosen),” he said.

Duterte is strongly endorsing his former special assistant Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa, Maguindanao second district Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, former Presidential Adviser Frances Tolentino, and Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.

He is also endorsing non-PDP-Laban members for the Senate: reelectionist Senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, and Cynthia Villar, Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, and folk singer Freddie Aguilar.

The President is also supporting former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, who is running as an independent candidate.

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