The Philippines? ?Dirty Harry,? former Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte, was sworn in as President today at the Malaca?an Palace in Manila.
Duterte took his oath after former President Benigno Aquino III officially stepped down from office. At the inauguration ceremonies, the new Philippine President showed a different side of him as opposed to his ?Dirty Harry? persona, as he is infamously known for cursing the Pope, joking about rape, his questionable methods in fighting criminality, bragging about the size of his manhood, and for casually using cuss words in press conferences. He even whistled at a reporter during one of the media press cons and said that she should have taken it as a compliment.
This is the man that over 16 million Filipinos voted for. The most unbelievable stories broke out about him and his ?dirty? and ?rude? behaviour. But when you see Davao City, it is evidently cleaner and more organized than most cities in the country. However, ruling a city and ruling a country are two very different things, but the new President from the southern part of the archipelago, accepted this challenge even though it was never his ambition to run for the highest position in the country.
He showed his humility when he won the presidential race, as he went straight to his parents? tomb and wept. ?I can?t believe this,? he mumbled, ?I?m just a nobody.?
But this ?nobody? promised change to his countrymen and Filipinos said yes to this change even though he had been shrouded with much controversy and criticized by the Church and foreign countries. It did not matter to his loyal supporters, they just want change and are hoping that this man can make a big difference.
In Duterte?s inaugural speech, he began with the statement, ?No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.?
He also highlighted the initial challenge for the new administration, ?Erosion of faith and trust in government ? that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people?s trust in our country?s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people?s lives better, safer and healthier.?
He continued, ?It is the people from whom democratic governance grows strength, and this administration is no exception. We have to listen to the murmurings of the people, give them pause, supply their needs and fortify their faith in us.?
He also quoted from several political, historical and literary icons such as Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt and Philippine National Artist for Literature, F. Sionil Jose.
In the inaugural ceremonies, President Duterte proved that change can start from himself as he clearly abandoned all boorishness and the ?Dirty Harry? image that he displayed before he was officially sworn in as the 16th president of the Republic of the Philippines. Hopefully, this will be consistent throughout his six-year term. ?