Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte said he is endorsing the candidacy of senatorial aspirant Francis Tolentino, saying the former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman is one of the most decent officials the country ever had.
In his local radio show last Sunday, Duterte vouched for Tolentino’s personality and work ethics as the latter’s strongest points in becoming one of the country’s senators come 2016.
“Matagal ko nang kilala si Francis. And he’s one of the most decent officials sa ating bayan… This guy has remained poor. Iyung motorsiklo niya, iyung pa rin noon. Hindi siya gaya ng iba na nagkaroon ng pera. He lives a very simple life. I do not have to compare him with anybody but he is an entity by himself,” Duterte said.
The tough-talking city mayor also defended Tolentino when he was caught in a controversy during the birthday celebration of Laguna Rep. Benjie Agarao in Sta. Cruz town last October 1.
Duterte said having such form of an entertainment is a long-time practice and Tolentino had the decency to resign from his post right after the incident.
“He resigned because doon sa raucous show na sabi nila bastos, which to me is what we do every election time, ****** just to entertain people… The problem is napintura sa kanya [Tolentino] dahil siya siguro ang nagkuha. After the outcry, he had the decency to resign pambihira iyung ganoon. I always salute people who live by their principles in life,” Duterte said.
He added: “Ako nanghinayang ko sa talent. The guy only has good intentions for his country. Hindi mo naman kontralado magsayaw-sayaw ang mga babae diyan, hindi naman obsence.”
Tolentino earlier denied that he invited the “Playgirls” to the event in Sta. Cruz, Laguna last Oct. 1.
Duterte reminded the public not to be swayed on mere popularity when choosing whom to vote for during the 2016 polls.
“Remember, maghanap kayo ng mga tao na may prinsipyo sa buhay. Importante masyado iyan para hindi kayo mawala sa landas. Marami kayong mga piniling tao, tingnan niyo ang nangyari sa ating bayan. It is because you go for opportunists, kung sinong sikat sa rating. Susmariosep, you better wake up, guys,” Duterte said.
Tolentino expressed his gratitude to Duterte for the endorsement which he said will boost his chances of making it to the senate.
Tolentino earlier bared his plans if elected senator, which include the establishment of a National Disaster Recovery Agency as well as a National Urban Planning Commission to address problems in growing urban areas.
Tolentino, who holds a doctorate degree in international environmental law, reiterated that he wants to push for laws that will promote disaster preparedness and environmental sustainability.
The former MMDA chairman was at the forefront of the recently held Metro Manila-wide earthquake drill, as the metropolis prepares for a possible magnitude 7.2 earthquake that could be triggered by the movement of the West Valley Fault.
He also promised to craft laws that will address urbanization problems and allow bigger revenue allotment for best-performing local government units.
Aspiring president Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is reportedly considering Tolentino in her senatorial line-up. Tolentino said he has yet to talk with Santiago’s camp.