- Davao City mayor tells the people not to place emphasis on his habitual cursing in public
- His curse words are just a manifestation of his anger with his countrymen’s plight
- He also tells Catholics they are free to vote on whoever else they want
CEBU CITY, Philippines – For Rodrigo Duterte, his habitual use of expletives is just his way of expressing his frustration with the plight of his countrymen.
At a press conference in Cebu City, the tough-talking mayor of Davao City — known for his colorful remarks — urged Filipinos to focus more on his platform rather than on his cussing.
“I’m presenting myself as President of the Republic of the Philippines,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer. “Judge me not by the cuss words and the curses. Judge me for what I stand for, the values that I hold dear.”
Elaborating, Duterte said his use of expletives is just a manifestation of what Filipinos actually want to say but won’t in public.
“Listen to my cursing. Listen to it carefully,” he said. “I invite you to just really look at me and relate those words to my character. Because behind those words is the real tragedy and agony of the Filipino people.”
Duterte’s cursing, coupled with his tough measures on criminals, has given him a tough guy persona which has both been praised and criticized.
In particular, he was scored by Catholic officials after he cursed Pope Francis in jest for causing traffic jams in Manila during his visit. The mayor later explained he was just frustrated by the government’s inability to manage traffic.
Later on, he told Catholic supporters at a plaza assembly that they were free to choose whoever they want.
“If you believe in the bishops, go ahead,” he said. “Go to another choice. Me, I rise and fall with my words.”