BY ROGER M. BALANZA
After threatening to shoot those pushing him to run for President, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has turned to God in a scare tactic aiming to puncture pressures for him to take a crack at the presidency run in 2016.
If God makes me President, the first to suffer (under my presidency) would be God himself, said Duterte in a news conference after the launch in Davao City on December 1 of the First Mindanao Leaders’ Summit on Federalism.
Said in jest, the statement triggered laughter from journalists who tried to corner him into getting out of his oft-repeated stand that running for the presidency is not in his radar.
Duterte’s woes about God suffering under a ‘Duterte presidency’ relates to his earlier statement about what he would do to criminals if he is the president.
The fish in the ocean would get fatter, he said earlier.
Known for his iron-fist anti-crime policy, urban legend has it that criminals caught in his city are dumped alive in the Davao Gulf for sharks to feast on.
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) investigated Duterte for his alleged role in the Davao Death Squad (DDS), alleged to be behind the death of hundreds of criminals and suspects. The CHR however has not released results of the 2009 probe. Duterte, who appeared in the investigation called by then CHR chair Leila de Lima, now the Justice Secretary, denied any link to the killings.