Duterte says ready to die, warns criminals

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte holds the Philippine flag, which has been the rallying symbol of his campaign, during his Miting de Avance at the Luneta before the elections on May 9. Fernando G. Sepe, Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Maverick Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte appealed to voters Saturday to elect him president, with cuss-filled vows to die for his countrymen and kill anyone who would cause them suffering. 

The 71-year-old frontrunner told a crowd of at least 350,000 cheering supporters in downtown Manila that he would stop the decades-old scourges of crime and corruption. 

Duterte said he would be a "socialist" leader. He also said he would not declare martial law but would "protect" the government if it was threatened. 

In a speech at the end of a seven-hour rally, Duterte said he was told to stand on a specific portion of the stage to avoid sniper fire. 

"Sa mga sniper nyo, go ahead. I will die for the Filipino," Duterte said to loud cheers at his final campaign rally before Monday's vote. 

"Pag ako nanalo, papatayin ko kayo. Talagang yayariin ko kayo sa pagpahirap nyo sa Pilipino. Galit ako sa inyo," he said. 

MEETING SATAN 

Duterte said he was not afraid to go to hell because it will be filled with beautiful women. 

"Bakit ako matatakot sa Satanas na yan? Satanas 'wag mo akong takot-takotin," he said. 

The mayor said he would replicate a ruthless anti-crime campaign in Davao City that, he said, helped the city become an economic hub in the main southern island of Mindanao. 

"Holdupper, you better go out kasi pag andito ka, ako mayor ako, papatayin kita," he said.

"Kalimutan muna batas sa human rights, kalimutan mo muna regulasyon ng tao," he said. 

PUNCHING BAGS

Duterte ridiculed administration candidate Mar Roxas as the "weakest link" in the current government and made fun of the former interior minister's credentials as having come from "Watsons," instead of Wharton, a US business school. 

"Kumbaga kadena diyan, chain, yung isa plastic yun si Roxas," he said, citing among others, the daily breakdowns of the MRT-3 train. 

Duterte chided Vice President Jejomar Binay for failing to respond to corruption allegations. Imitating Binay's manner of speaking, he joked to the crowd: "Makati ang mga kamay namin sa Makati kaya naubos ang pera." 

"It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. Ano tingin mo sa asawa niya may kaso, ang anak niya may kaso. Ano ang Malacanang? Presohan?"

ANGRY, RAUNCHY RALLY 

The mood swung from angry to festive to raunchy as an unlikely mix of politicians and entertainers took turns on the makeshift stage.

The sexy group Mocha Girls gyrated to a slow, dark beat as they urged the crowd to vote for the tough-talking mayor. 

Singer Gail Blanco's soprano performance of the patriotic song "Ako ay Pilipino" followed. 

Giant pick-up trucks and sports utility vehicles plastered with posters of the mayor surrounded a makeshift stage in Luneta, right in front of Quirino Grandstand, where the country’s past presidents were sworn into office. 

A long row of motorcycles doubled as a security cordon to keep supporters in red shirts in their designated areas. 

Vendors hawked baller bracelets and shirts as the mayor's fans crowded beside his cardboard standee to take selfies. 

SUPPORTERS' HOPES

Tens of thousands stood under the scorching sun to await Duterte's arrival, including 43-year-old Christian pastor Jennifer Cobarrubias

"I want to live in a safe country, that's why I'm voting for him," she told ABS-CBN News. 

Cobarrubias said she would vote for Duterte on Monday despite his vow to kill all criminals. "Our God is a God who loves everyone and hates sin. Duterte hates sin, not the sinner," she said. 

The mother of two said she lost her wallet to petty thieves while commuting in Quezon City last year. She said her staff had also been mugged on a bus. 

"Only Duterte has the guts, the political will to get things done," said Cobarrubias' 51-year-old businessman husband, Jimmy. The couple came to the rally in matching red shirts. 

Duterte was poised to be to be the first president from the main southern island of Mindanao, which is mired in poverty from decades of conflict. 

"Life is very hard. We are counting on him to help us," 40-year-old pirated DVD salesman Sowaiv Samporna told ABS-CBN News. 

Samporna and his wife fled fighting in their home province of Lanao del Norte more than a decade ago and settled in a Manila slum to raise five children. 

"I hope he can help me find a new job," Samporna said, adding he feared Duterte might shut down pirated software stalls in Quiapo district. 

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