ILIGAN CITY – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte left another “very good” impression in this city.
|Mayor Rodrigo Duterte|
Duterte was in Iligan to speak during the 45th commencement exercises of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
A motorcade took escorted him to the venue from the Iligan City National High School grounds where his chopper landed.
On hand to greet him upon his arrival were school officials, members of the Iligan Fury Moto Club and the Samporna clan which considers Duterte a distant relative.
The 5,000-capacity MSU-IIT gym was packed to the rafters by 1,612 graduates and their families and friends. The door had to be shut by security personnel after Duterte’s entrance was delayed by the usual throng of admirers.
Duterte was greeted with a standing ovation after he was introduced by MSU-IIT chancellor Sukarno Tanggol, one of the country’s foremost scholars and himself an expert and author on federalism.
Tanggol disclosed that when the announcement that Duterte was the commencement speaker was posted on Facebook, it instantly generated “more than 1,000 likes and more than a hundred shares.”
The chancellor revealed that a daughter of a faculty member herself had unwittingly rode on a taxi driven by the mayor on one of his fabled nocturnal past times which is going after criminals.
“(Duterte) is a legend, a hero and an idol”, Tanggol described Duterte in his introduction.
The audience stayed on in spite of the sweltering heat throughout the solemn ceremony.
Duterte did not read his prepared speech and instead spoke extemporaneously when he traced the history of the conflict in Mindanao.
The audience which was a mixture of Moslems and Christians listened attentively as Duterte presented his argument that the Mamasapano incident had its roots in the 1521 arrival of Ferdinand Magellan and the subsequent subjugation of the Philippines.
At the end of his 38-minute address, the entire graduating class rose as one to applaud the mayor who was uncharacteristically garbed in a toga.
Duterte was treated to a late lunch at the Office of the Chancellor where he was again besieged by admirers waiting to have their selfies and groupies with him.
He next proceeded to the College of Engineering amphitheater to speak at a federalism forum arranged by the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Committee Iligan chapter headed by ex-Mayor Franklin Quijano.
Before Duterte’s turn, Tanggo gave excerpts of his book on federalism although he admitted he had to make it very brief because Duterte had to fly back to Davao.
Duterte said that earlier that day, he read in the news the warning of Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles that violence will break out if the Bangsamoro Basic Law fails.
While he called for calm, Duterte said he is actively pushing for federalism because it is Mindanao’s last card to avert bloodshed.
Acknowledging the persistent calls for him to run, Duterte urged his audience to look to Manila first because there are enough materials there.
“(Vice President Jejomar) Binay, good. (Sen. Grace) Poe, good. (Secretary Mar) Roxas, good. (Sen. Alan Peter) Cayetano, good,” he started off.
Like in his previous sorties, the audience stayed silent, waiting for the clincher.
“But if you’re not satisfied, look south. Duterte, very good,”
Like in his previous sorties, the audience broke into instant applause and cheering.
Iligan was another “very good” outing for Duterte.
by: (CHITO A. FUENTES)