Duterte tells friends, foes to keep 2022 polls clean and orderly; 'Nandyan pa ako'

Published October 5, 2021, 4:12 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

President Duterte has warned friends and foes alike not to make the mistake of messing up the elections in his final year in office.

President Rodrigo Duterte (Malacañang photo)

Duterte, in the latest episode of “Talk to the People” on Monday night, Oct. 4, said he wants Filipinos to experience what it’s like to have “clean” elections, referring to the upcoming May 2022 polls.

“At ako paalis na (I’m on my way out), I will — I’m warning everybody, everybody, kasama ko sa partido o hindi, o kaibigan kita o hindi, kalaban kita, itong election na ito huwag mo talagang — ‘wag kang magkamali kasi nandiyan pa ako (whether you’re my party-mate or not, whether you’re my friend or not, my enemy, with this elections, don’t you dare — don’t make a mistake because I’m still there),” he said during the pre-taped public hearing.

“Gusto ko na bago ako umalis, makatikim lang man ang Pilipino ng malinis na eleksiyon (Before I leave, I want to give Filipino a taste of clean elections),” added the Chief Executive.

But what potential hitches to the polls are worrying Duterte? He mentioned possible fraud, “warlord politics”, and unrest in the south.

“I will just also coordinate with the Comelec (Commission on Elections) and I will not allow fraud tapos ‘yung mga tigas-tigas (the toughies). May mga ano diyan lalo na ‘yang matagal na sa pulitika, political warlords na may mga armas (There are those longtime politicians, the political warlords who have firearms),” he said.

Duterte made specific mention of the New People’s Army (NPA), saying they shouldn’t dip their hands in the elections. The NPA is the military unit of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

“You are fighting another cause, it’s a losing one,” he said of the NPA, which the government identifies as terrorists.

“Pero ‘wag kayong makialam dito sa (But don’t interfere in this) election by… At saka ‘yung (And also with) drug money. Malaman namin ‘yan. Kung magtatapon ka ng pera, magbili ka ng boto, isang libo isang boto, ah titingnan ka namin (We’ll find out. If you’re throwing money away to buy votes, one thousand per vote, we will look into that),” Duterte said.

The President then reiterated his appeal for a peaceful conduct of elections in his home region of Midnanao.

“I’m — especially Mindanao, I am appealing to the leaders, both, sa lahat ng tribo na ‘wag kayong mag (to all tribes, please don’t) — kasi (like) I said, if you do not follow a peaceful path in the elections, papuntahan ko kayo ng army pati pulis. Disarmahan lahat ng tao and kulungin ka. Ako na ang bahala magsagot kung bakit ka kinulong, basta mag-terorismo kayo (I will send in the military and even police. They will disarm and jail everybody. If it’s terrorism, then I’ll justify the reason for jailing them),” he said.

Duterte will step down from Malacañang on June 30, 2022. He said over the weekend that he will retire from politics.