- Davao City mayor acknowledges late strongman as the brightest among the presidents
- He promises to reintroduce Marcos’ socio-economic programs for farmers and fisher-folks
- Aside from his anti-crime and corruption drive, he will focus on improving PH’s agriculture
CONCEPCION, Tarlac— Acknowledging the brilliance of Ferdinand Marcos to a group of farmers in the bailiwick of President Benigno Aquino III, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said the late strongman was the most intelligent of the presidents save for the time he refused to step down amid growing unrest and dissatisfaction with his reign.
“Don’t feel insulted, but on hindsight, except for the time that he refused to step down from office, the brightest among the past presidents was Marcos,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted him as telling the farmers.
Marcos’ legacy is often a heated subject of debate, with his supporters contending he was the best president the country ever had as opposed to critics who say he amassed billions and killed thousands during his two-decade rule.
His son and namesake, Sen. Bongbong Marcos, is running for vice president under the ticket of fellow solon Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.
Specifically, the mayor said he admired Marcos’ socio-economic programs for both farmers and fisher-folks including the “Masagana 99” and “Biyayang Dagat” programs and vowed to replicate them.
“During those times, there were cooperatives. When a member borrowed money, it was the obligation of every cooperative member to pay. And there was no collateral,” he said.
Aside from the two programs, Duterte repeated his promise of providing free irrigation for farmers nationwide.
“It’s not only for you, (I’ll provide it) even in Mindanao,” he said. “That’s why I’m upset with the government. Why should you pay for water when it’s yours? I cannot understand that policy.”