Without a doubt, President Rodrigo Duterte is a non-traditional country leader. He has been criticized for not behaving like a statesman, which he admits. But despite all the criticisms, no one can argue that President Duterte has broken some records of his predecessors. In fact, there were many firsts in the Philippines when he won the election.
To this date, President Duterte’s war against illegal drugs is a hot issue in the Philippines and is also being reported by international media. Apparently, human rights groups and his critics are blaming him for the extrajudicial killings of drug suspects. Meanwhile, below are 50 ‘first time in the Philippines’ that happened during President Duterte’s first 100 days.
1) First elected president from Mindanao.
2) First “accidental politician” president since Corazon Aquino. In 1986, then-President Cory Aquino appointed Duterte’s mother to be the OIC-Vice Mayor of Davao City, but the latter declined, so he took her place.
3) First elected president directly from local post (Mayor).
4) First president to serve the longest term in local government. He served as Davao City mayor for a total of 23 years (1988-98, 2001-10, 2013-16). Joseph “:Erap” Estrada served as San Juan mayor for 17 years (1969-86).
5) First elected president who filed his candidacy later than the official period. He filed his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for president on November 27, while the deadline for filing is October 15.
6) First president who did not personally file his COC, as he was represented by lawyer Salvador Medialdea. Nevertheless, he went to Comelec in flesh on December 8, and re-filed his COC.
7) First presidential candidate to win despite being a substitute candidate, replacing Martin Diño as the official standard bearer of PDP-Laban.
8) First president to have a pending plunder case before the election. Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV filed a plunder complaint against Duterte before the Office of the Ombudsman on May 5, four days before the election, accusing him of not declaring his alleged hidden wealth on his 2014 Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN). However, Duterte supporters believe it was politically motivated.
9) First lawyer-president since Ferdinand Marcos
10) First annulled president. He married Elizabeth Zimmerman in 1973, and their marriage was annulled in 2000. They have 3 children, Paolo, Inday Sara, and Sebastian (Baste).
11) First septuagenarian (people 70-79 years old) president, also the oldest at 71. Sergio Osmeña, Sr. was 65 when he became president in 1944, after Manuel L. Quezon died in office.
12) First president publicly known for having a common law wife. She is Honeylet Avanceña, whom Duterte has one daughter named Veronica ‘Kitty’ Duterte.
13) First president to have a child at age of 55 above. Kitty Duterte was born on April 10, 2004, and Duterte was then 59 years old.
14) First president to have a tattoo. According to Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza, his and President Duterte’s tattoo on right hand symbolizes their membership of Guardians Brotherhood.
15) First president to be featured in Time magazine long before becoming a president. Duterte’s black and white photo was featured in the cover of Time magazine, May 23 issue. But in 2002, he was also featured in the same magazine, but not on cover. It was the first time that he was dubbed as The Punisher.
16) First president to be expelled from school twice. In various interviews, he admitted having been kicked out from Ateneo de Davao High School, and in another school for misconduct.
17) First president who does not wear socks.
18) First president to designate daughter as First Lady since Elpidio Quirino. Nevertheless, Sara Duterte declined the title.
19) First president who had almost no support from politicians during campaign.
20) First president to win with more than 16 million votes. Based on the official count from the Comelec, Duterte garnered 16,601,997 votes, surpassing the 15,208,678 votes for Noynoy Aquino.
21) First elected president to have the widest margin of votes from closest rival. His votes is 6,623,822 higher than the votes for Mar Roxas, who had 9,978,175. Joseph “:Erap” Estrada is next with 6,453,812 votes higher than the votes for Jose de Venecia, Jr.
22) First president known for kissing Philippine flags.
23) First president to be mobbed by a sea of people since Ramon Magsaysay.
24) First president to receive offers from four presidents to be the secretary of DILG. Nevertheless, he rejected all of them.
25) First elected president to have his inauguration in Malacañang. Elpidio Quirino and Carlos P. Garcia were also sworn in at Malacañang, but only to replace the presidents who died in office.
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26) First president to hold a separate inauguration with the vice president.
27) First president who curses in his speech.
28) First president who admitted hating to read long speeches.
29) First president known for not following the prepared speech for him.
30) First president who had a very strong campaign against illegal drugs.
31) First president to publicly announce the names of alleged narco-politicians and narco-cops.
32) First president whose term has not one, not two, but hundreds of thousands of drugs suspects who voluntarily surrendered.
33) First president whose term has not one, not two, but tens of thousands of drugs personalities arrested. However, those who allegedly fought back were killed.
34) First president known for wearing casual clothes, particularly the so-called Maong Tagalog.
35) First president to order officials to stop calling him as “his excellency.”
36) First president to have four past presidents attend a single event at the same time.
37) First president to be vocal in protecting LGBT rights. Back in 2008, then-Mayor Rody Duterte publicly criticized the Comelec for not recognize Ang Ladlad LGBT Party as a party-list.
38) First president to agree on same-sex marriage.
39) First president to protect the rights of sex workers. In fact, he regularly hosts Christmas parties for them. In an interview, he said that prostitution is more of a public health issue rather than a moral issue.
40) First president who admitted killing a criminal in the line of duty.
41) First president to be reported as having a P1-billion bounty for his head courtesy from drug lords.
42) First president to be known being close to leftist groups. In fact, some of his cabinet members belong to the left.
43) First president to have a 24-hour direct hotline (8888) to the Office of the President for complaints of corruption and related problems.
44) First president to implement a nationwide 911 Emergency Hotline.
45) First president to implement a one stop shop in POEA so OFWs can save time and money.
46) First president to spend his first months visiting military camps across the country.
47) First president to allow the burial of late-president Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
48) First time that alleged illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) was investigated by the House of Representatives.
49) First time that a president exposed a senator being allegedly involved in illegal drugs. As we all know, that lawmaker is none other than Senator Leila de Lima.
50) First time that National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) officials had a courtesy call with a president in Malacañang. On September 27, President Duterte met with CPP-NPA Chairman Benito Tiamzon and his wife Wilma (the group’s secretary-general), granting NDFP’s request.
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Incidentally, it is also during the first 100 days of President Duterte that Pia Wurtzbach won the Miss Universe, and weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz winning a silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. For the record, this is the first time that both victories happened in the same year. And yes, the Miss Universe 2017 pageant will be held here in the Philippines.
PS. We at TN know that we might have missed something in our list, so please feel free to add more in your comments below.