A PROMINENT Jesuit priest on Wednesday endorsed the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Emirerio Barcelon, former president of the Ateneo de Davao University, said Duterte could fully harness Mindanao’s development potential and eventually help accelerate the country’s growth.
“His main agenda is peace and order. He has shown that he is good at that in Davao,” said Barcelon, a former professor of the Asian Institute of Management and senior fellow at the Development Academy of the Philippines.
He cited Duterte’s aggressive stance against crime and his inclusive approach to the peace talks with the rebel groups.
He said Duterte was well-loved in Mindanao.
“If Duterte gets elected president, the Mindanao problem will be solved, and Mindanao will carry the whole nation to the prosperity that it deserves,” Barcelon said.
The camp of Duterte, along with his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, has anchored his platform of government on genuine change, poverty eradication by ending corruption in the government, and peace and order.
Duterte could spur “the development of power sources, especially hydro resources that abound in Mindanao,” Barcelon said.
He also cited Mindanao’s natural resources that could be harnessed to alleviate poverty.
“The gold, copper, nickel and other precious metals are left on the ground while people have no jobs and suffering from hunger,” Barcelon said.
“He [Duterte] says crazy things but he gets things done. His main agenda is peace and order, and he has shown that he is good at that in Davao.”