Here’s a little Duterte trivia for you. Did you know that despite the fact that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte may not be mestizo-looking, he has as certified Spanish and Chinese pedigree, with roots originating from Cebu? But more than that, there are many more interesting trivia that should elicit curiosity from Duterte fans. Take a look at the following:
The first person to float the idea of Rodrigo Duterte running for President was a Sandiganbayan justice in 1998. According to Salvador Medialdea, now Executive Secretary of Duterte, the then-city mayor promptly shot down the proposal and told him to shut up.
When Duterte, who was then the appointed vice mayor of Davao City, ran for city mayor in 1988, it was Nacionalista Party stalwart Elias B. Lopez, the city mayor who had been replaced as result of the 1986 People Revolt, who endorsed him despite opposition from his partymates.
In The Philippine Journal of Science published in 1957, there appears a Davao-based logging firm Duterte & Co., Inc. For three months (February, May, and June) that year, the enterprise exported to Japan a total of 1,149,968 board feet of logs, the equivalent of 95, 830.6 cubic feet.
On June 30, 2016, the International Bromeliad Society (IBS) named a cultivar ‘Neoregelia Rody Duterte,’ which was bred by local planter Ziegfred Onari of Marilog District, Davao City. The bromeliad hybrid has pink leaves with fiery pink central cup.
Contrary to popular knowledge, the Dutertes were part of the Cebu elite. The clan had long been a major political family in Danao, with strong roots in Cebu City. This disputes the claim the Duranos were more influential than the Dutertes, both in social status and political clout.
The Dutertes of Cebu were part of alta sociedad and are scions of a Spanish bloodline. The President’s super lola was Dionisia Duterte, also known as Francisca, who was unmarried but bore a son with Maximo Veloso del Rosario, a wealthy Chinese mestizo landowner.
Two of the inseparable items (charms, to some) considered ‘valuable’ (read: close) to the President’s heart, according to urban legend, are the exact mat (banig) where he was born and the tail of a stingray (ikog sa pagi) which he used to discipline offenders during his term as mayor.
Duterte, along with Joel P. Babista and former Southern Mindanao human rights director Alberto B. Sipaco, Jr., founded the Lex Talionis Fraternitas, Inc. at the Ateneo de Davao University School of Law in 1974. They are known as ‘The Triumvirate.’
President Duterte is a relative of Davao del Sur Gov. Douglas Cagas, ex- Santa Cruz, Davao del Sur Mayor Amancio Bendigo, ex-Davao del Norte vice-governor Cecilia A. dela Paz, and Davao City congressmen Karlo Alexei and Jericho Jonas, sons of former House Speaker Prospero C. Nograles.
Former undivided Davao Governor Vicente G. Duterte, the President’s father, was appointed Secretary of the Department of General Services (DGS) on December 25, 1965 by then-President Ferdinand E. Marcos. Prior to this, he was also a congressman of Davao.