MBC president urges scrutiny of Duterte, warns of 'wrong choice'

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is welcomed at the Makati Business Club forum on Wednesday, April 27, 2016. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

The president of the influential Makati Business Club (MBC) appealed to voters on Tuesday to scrutinize presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte, as he warned about the consequences of electing murderous and corrupt leaders.

The country risked being plunged into "chaos and anarchy" if the rule of law is disrespected. This in turn will turn off investors, MBC President Ramon del Rosario said in an opinion column published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"Let us not vote out of despair or sheer disgust at an indecisive, slow-responding administration, or the infuriating traffic, or rampant crimes," he said.

"Think instead of what your vote will mean for your future and the future of millions of younger Filipinos, including your children or your younger siblings and coworkers. Consider the tremendous cost of the wrong choice," he added.

Del Rosario cited Duterte's statements that he would dump 100,000 criminals into the sea, kill his own son if he is found to do drugs and shut Congress if he is threatened with impeachment.

He also noted the Davao city mayor's profession of admiration for the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and willingness to hand over power to the Marcos' only son and namesake, who is leading in the vice presidential race.

Del Rosario acknowledged that to Duterte's supporters, these statements showed a "strong and decisive leader."

"But surely the mayor and his supporters cannot take offense if we take his statements seriously, for these are certainly no laughing matter. For the sense that his statements convey a distinct lack of respect for the rule of law," he said.

"Without the rule of law, there will be chaos and anarchy, and no confidence in our country. Without confidence, there will be no investments, and without investments, there will be no jobs. These are not threats, only sheer facts," he said.

Duterte spoke before the MBC last week, but instead of detailing his economic platform, he vowed a "bloody" war against crime and joked about his penis.

Share prices tumbled to a seven-week low on Monday, with investors jittery over a lack of clarity in Duterte's plans for the economy.

The tough-talking Davao City mayor has kept an 11-point lead over closest rival, Sen. Grace Poe according to the April 19 to 24 survey by ABS-CBN and Pulse Asia.