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Sa taga-Davao lang umasa! Duterte: I never accepted campaign funds from Manila’s bilyonaryos

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President Rodrigo Duterte’s victory in the 2016 presidential race can be considered not just a victory of ordinary people, but also of Davao-based businessmen who bankrolled his campaign.

In a speech at the mass oathtaking of new government officials Monday (July 17), Duterte said he never accepted campaign donations from the tycoons who have made Manila their headquarters.

“Marami namang mga taga-Davao nagbigay. Most of them money, wala naman sa labas. At ako prangka ako sa inyo, if you’ll ask me now, I’ll tell you. I never accepted the money of the rich dito. Lahat na sila. The traditional guys na maririnig ninyo,” he said.

Duterte said he was initially hesitant to run for president, in part because he did not have the war chest to sustain a national campaign.

However, he said various groups flew to Davao often to convince him to enter the presidential race because of his crusade against graft and corruption.

“I really do not know if I was that strong or not. But it turned out that I was really… But at that time I never expected to win frankly,” Duterte said.

The President recently visited the Philippine Stock Exchange plaza to grace the 10th listing anniversary of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, which is owned by businessman Dennis Uy.

The Davao-based tycoon, which is touted as the man to watch for in the next few years, is one of Duterte’s biggest campaign contributors.