Congratulations President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

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When the clock strikes 12 today, this country of 105 million will be led by a man who genuinely disliked the idea of becoming President but who may usher in the change that Filipinos have been hoping and praying for.


Rodrigo Roa Duterte, son of a former Davao Governor and a public school teacher, lawyer, government prosecutor, vice mayor, congressman and mayor of Davao City for two decades, will become the country’s 16th President.

President Rody takes over a country which could hardly feed its own people, where corruption has permeated every fabric of society, where drugs have destroyed millions of young Filipinos and where the high rate of criminality has struck fear in the heart of helpless people.

With only about 650 people witnessing this historic event, the ascension to the Presidency of Rody Duterte today marks the high point of a movement of the masses started about six years ago.

For outgoing Maribojoc Mayor Leoncio “Jun” Evasco, the Duterte Presidency is the realisation of his wish made as early as 2010 for the maverick political leader to consider leading the country.

For loyal aide and confidante, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the Presidency of the man he considers as his second father represents the fruit of his personal sacrifices.

For Duterte grade school classmate Sonny Dominguez who presented to then Mayor Rody the “ifs,” “hows,” and “whys” of the Presidency, this day marks the high point of a scholarly method of convincing an unconventional politician to consider the highest political position of the country.

For me, the Duterte Presidency is the fruition of a warning I gave him almost three years ago when he rejected the idea of considering the highest post that “You cannot escape from your destiny.”

For the many others who were in the original group which persisted in convincing Rody Duterte to run for President even when he said he would not and even when he missed the deadline for filing, this day marks their entry into the history books as among those made this wild dream happen.

For the millions of ordinary Filipino citizens who kept their faith in a man maligned by the establishment and looked down by political pundits as a long-shot, today is the start of a new day in their lives.

For the corrupt in government, the crime and drug lords and the high-heeled elite who could not seem to accept an out-of-the-box President who cusses, wears t-shirts and rubber shoes and who shuns officiousness and abhors formalities, this day could virtually be the moment they start entering a horror house.

But what the heck, their fear is the people’s happiness; their elimination is the ordinary Filipinos ascension to power.

Congratulations President Rodrigo Roa Duterte.

By Manny Piñol

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