Fil-Ams for Duterte believe PH needs tough leader

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

WOODSIDE, N.Y. – Fed up with government corruption and the rise in crime and criminality in the Philippines, Filipinos gathered at a Visayan restaurant in New York to show their support for Philippine presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Go Duterte NY USA's Sani Guillena said, "Pag nanalo siya he promised to stop criminality and drug addiction and he will stop graft and corruption."

Duterte has declared that the Philippines needs the tough love of a dictator or a dictator-like leader in order for Filipinos to obey the law.

His supporters agree.

Gerard Ramirez said, "We need someone who can discipline us, who can spank us Filipinos, who can make sense of our actions. That's him. That's Mayor Duterte."

If elected, Duterte promised to curb the Philippines’ crime and drug problems within six months of his presidency.

"There's a lot of people saying, 'Oh my God, Duterte is doing the killings and all that'. C'mon. Let’s qualify. Is it extrajudicial or judicial kind of killings? Duterte is doing the judicial kind of killings — killing is justified to stop the criminality that drug lords that’s proliferating in Davao City," said Guillena.

Duterte supporter Beaver Barril defended the presidential candidate saying, "Hindi siya pumapatay, it was just for example. The kidnapping of this Chinese businesswoman, it was an encounter with the police people so they don't surrender then you die. We need kamay na bakal to prevent corruption, drugs and the crime."

While critics oppose this iron-fist style of governance the Davao City Mayor is planning to implement as President, supporters believe it is the only way.

"He is a brand new candidate, wala pang ganitong kandidato na lumabas sa Pilipinas," Brotherhood For Duterte member Aries Aguirre said. "Nagmumura, nambababae, yung mga ganun, sa akin naman, kung action naman ang pag-uusapan si Mayor Duterte na ang sagot sa Pilipinas."

The group is raising money to help fund Duterte’s campaign but is pending COMELEC’s approval.

The New Yorkers for Duterte are also planning to hold a prayer rally in Central Park in April for a clean and peaceful Philippine elections come May.

Read more on Balitang America.