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Duterte shows soft side: I wish my mother saw me as President.

Celebrating the last day of Women's Month in Malacanang, the usually tough-talking President Rodrigo Duterte showed his soft side as he paid tribute to his mother, Soledad Roa-Duterte.

Duterte regretted that his mother never saw him become the President of the Philippines.

'I finished high school for seven years. Kung saan-saan ako (I attended different schools). But my sorrow really is that makita lang naman niya sana ako naging Presidente (I wish she saw me become President), he said in a speech during the 'Digong's Day for Women' on Friday.

But he said his mother would have been in disbelief that he won the presidency.

'But, of course, alam ko na hindi rin siya maniwala. Eh pati nga ako eh kung manalo ako (I know that she would not have believed it. Even I could not believe that I won),' he said.

The 72-year old President recalled the sacrifices his mother endured after his father Vicente died at the age of 56.

'(T)he sacrifices that she had to endure because she was working for all of us. That is why - I am not trying to marginalize my father - but I've always been close to my mother; she was the one who stood by me,' he said.

He said his mother, also known as 'Nanay Soling', had nervous breakdowns after his father died.

'What was worse was my mother had a nervous breakdown. She was sleeping for one year and we incurred a lot of debts, but when she finally recovered, she had to look for the money to send us to schools,' he said.

While taking law at San Beda College in Manila, Duterte recalled he once told his mother that he would just go back to Davao City to continue his law school after realizing she was having a difficult time financing his studies. But the President eventually obtained a law degree from the law school in 1972.

Amid his insurmountable lead during the May 2016 elections, the then Davao City mayor also showed his soft side as he visited his parents' tomb and wept uncontrollably.

Facing the tomb of his mother, Duterte wept as he was heard asking for help and guidance. His right hand clenched in a fist.

Duterte has earned criticisms from various groups for his often sexist remarks on women and sexual innuendos but the President has dismissed these as mere jokes.

'Ang makita lang ninyo maybe objectionable to you is pabiro ako sa babae. Eh ganon talaga ako (Maybe the one objectionable thing you can see in me is I am playful with women. That's who I am),' he told thousands of pro-Duterte women in Malacanang.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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