Rodrigo Duterte, the Philippines’ maverick president, was sworn into office Tuesday as the 16th chief executive of the Philippines. But apart from his anti-establishment sentiments, there’s more to the populist president than what the media has portrayed him in the past months.
Duterte is now considered as the president of many firsts. He’s the first Philippine president from Mindanao, an island in the southern part of imperial Manila. He’s also the oldest president the country has had.
During the campaign period, Duterte has been vocal about his leftist leaning, or communists who have been waging decades of arms struggles with the central government, Rappler reported.
In fact, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CCP) was Duterte’s mentor in the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) where he finished his undergraduate studies.
President for the masses
Duterter is known by his constituents in Davao City, where he spent 22 years as mayor, as a simple man. Despite his family’s legacies, making them one of the pillars of Davao’s politics, Duterte remains a man of the masses. His office at the Davao City Hall is always open to constituents who usually travel hours just to see the mayor.
During Duterte’s inauguration Thursday, Duterte deviated from the traditional way of former presidents. From the location of his oath taking to the menu he prepared for visitors, Duterte chose simple and traditional Filipino food.
Duterte’s decision to do away with the fancy and glamorous oath taking ceremony is a reflection of his simplicity and his thrusts for a simple government sensitive to the plight of ordinary people, Quartz reported.