After being called the Philippine’s “Dirty Harry,” which came from a Clint Eastwood character, Rodrigo Duterte, a Filipino mayor eyeing the highest position in the land, has earned the reputation as the country’s own Donald Trump.
But being likened to Trump doesn’t sit well with Duterte, whose name has been involved in several controversies with his rather unorthodox approach to criminality, drugs, and poverty, the Nikkei Asian Review reported.
In one of his previous interviews with the Associated Press, the tough-talking Davao City mayor said he should not be compared to Trump, who he called a bigot. Duterte issued the statement in reference to Trump’s controversial proposed solution to the worsening terrorism, saying he would ban the entry of Muslims in the U.S. if he ends up winning this year’s elections.
Hailed from a southern Philippine city, Duterte is expected to change traditional Philippine politics dominated by imperial Manila, the Al Jazeera reported.
“He’s the most outrageous, the most colourful and the most interesting character in this upcoming presidential election. We like to compare him to Trump of the US because he likes to shock with his statements. He can be very irreverent and very reckless,” Filipina author and journalist Marites Vitug said.
The obvious and probably the only trait that Trump and Philippine’s Duterte share is their ability to stir the world only by opening their mouths. Duterte, who’s popular among constituents with his no-nonsense way of leadership, has been involved in several controversies with his own way of getting things done. He’s also known for his expletives, to which people outside his territory in Davao City are not accustomed to.
The 70-year-old mayor who served the city for more than two decades is also a lawyer with a brief experience as a legislator serving one term as a city representative. Last year, Duterte drew the ire of the country’s Catholics after he reportedly cursed Pope Francis, who was in Manila during a Papal visit.
But Duterte clarified that he cursed the government’s failure to address the worsening traffic condition in Manila, not the Pope. Duterte has since apologized and asked forgiveness from the Pope through a letter sent to the Vatican. Early this month, local newspaper Sun Star reported that the Pope has forgiven the mayor for the incidence.
On the other hand, the real estate mogul and New York City billionaire is practically a neophyte in politics. Trump is competing with Ted Cruz to get the Republican nomination for this year’s elections. Although Trump is the most inexperienced among the Republicans vying to get the party’s nomination, he’s still the most probable contender of Hilary Clinton, a Democrat.