DAVAO CITY—Presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte on Monday offered a hand of reconciliation to his opponents and other candidates and told them “let us begin the national healing now.”
In his talk with reporters at the Duterte-Cayetano Media Center, Duterte called out to presidential aspirants Jejomar Binay, Grace Poe, Manuel Roxas II, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes IV to begin the healing.
“Let us forget and start the healing. Let us be friends. Let us forget the travails of the elections,” he said.
When asked if none of his opponents would heed his call, Duterte said “Fine.”
He said he had a deep and abiding faith in God although “I am a free-range believer in God.”
He said he believed in the “eternal law of karma,” that if you did good and you would be rewarded with goodness, and that if you did bad the karma would take over.
While this election is his 11th with zero defeat, Duterte refused to predict its outcome.
“I ain’t there until I’m there,” he said.
Duterte said he could go down in defeat or up in victory.
“I am hopeful and I pray to God. If he wants me there I will accept it,” he said.
Duterte, who arrived at his polling center after 3 p.m., was the last among five presidential candidates to vote at the Daniel Aguinaldo National High School.
He shrugged off the alleged vote-buying incidents in Monday’s elections:
The 71-year-old Davao City mayor said ensuring fair and honest elections was the mandate of the Commission on Elections.
“If they cannot come up with one, that is their problem. That is not my problem,” he said.
Duterte also appeared not surprised at the mammoth crowd of supporters who braved the scorching heat while awaiting his arrival at the voting center.
“I am not surprised, I am a candidate for the presidency. And almost all of them are my constituents, so it is very natural for them to gravitate towards me,” he said.