What can Philippine sports expect under a Duterte presidency? Digong bares plans
If elected president, Rodrigo Duterte says he plans to create a body that can solely focus on all sports concerns and with more teeth and finances than the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), an agency under the Office of the President. Snow Badua

PRESIDENTIAL candidate Rodrigo Duterte believes that creating a Department of Sports can address all of the ills plaguing a sector which he said is an important part of nation building.

The Davao City mayor revealed he’s fully aware and completely dismayed with the sad state of sports in the Philippines, which has gone from being a top contender in Southeast Asia into one of the whipping boys of the region.

“Walang masyadong focusing eh. Napapag-iwanan na tayo,” the outspoken Duterte told Spin.ph, adding he is fully aware of the values that sports teaches the citizenry.

“Sports is something that will build the muscle of the nation. Sports [instills] discipline. It’s part of growing a paradigm for young women or real men,” added the lawyer-politician.

If elected president, Duterte said he plans to create a body that can solely focus on all sports concerns and with more teeth and finances than the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), an agency under the Office of the President.

“I-se-separate ko 'yan. Parang dati na Department of Education, Culture and Sports, pero I am inclined to create another authority. I want sports and sports only sa opisina na yun,” he said.

However, Duterte admitted such a plan will have to take a backseat in his first six months of office which he plans to spend addressing bigger concerns like hunger, poverty, criminality, illegal drugs and unemployment.

“Sabi ko nga, I want to focus muna on infrastructure and sa tao. Like I told you, allow me to focus my first six months in disciplining our country. Six months, after nun, I will tell you wala nang kriminalidad, wala nang drug addict then we will focus on other aspects of nation-building,” he said.

Watch interview with Duterte:


“During the first six months, I will see to it that mahirap o mayaman, there will be food on the table. Itong mga durugistang ito at criminal, ubos yan. I will not hesitate to order the police and military to liquidate them, tapos sasabihin ko, ako ang ituro nilang nag utos, para wala nang istorya,” continued the fiery Davaoeno.

“I will end drugs, criminality, corruption in six months. Sabi ng mga kalaban ko, impossible daw.  Eh sabi ko sa kanila, bayot kasi kayo kaya hindi ninyo kaya. Kaya subukan ninyo ako,” he added.

Asked about the perennial problem of putting together the best players for national basketball teams, Duterte said he won't hesitate to step in since he is not indebted to any major company.

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 “I don’t get financial support from any of them. Kanina lang may nagbibigay, isinoli ko. I don’t accept contributions from companies. I want to have a Presidency where I can decide on my own. Wala akong bagahe,” he insisted.

Duterte can also lean on a solid team of experts and authorities to plot his strategy for Philippine sports revival. His chief of staff Bong Go is a sports enthusiast while his pool of advisers includes Mindanao-based boxing promoter Manny Pinol.

“We have a program for sports. Digong knows what he is doing and what he intends to implement in improving the sports program of the country," said Pinol, a former governor of North Cotabato.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua