Adaline Boney

Written by Adaline Boney

Modified & Updated: 01 Jun 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Rodrigo Duterte, the controversial President of the Philippines, has captivated the world with his unorthodox leadership style and starkly polarizing policies. Love him or loathe him, there is no denying that Duterte is a figure who cannot be ignored.

In this article, we will delve into 16 intriguing facts about Rodrigo Duterte, shedding light on his background, his rise to power, and his impact on the Philippines and international affairs. From his tough stance on crime and drugs to his unique communication style, Duterte has carved out a distinctive place in the political landscape.

So, buckle up and get ready to explore the enigmatic persona of Rodrigo Duterte as we uncover surprising details and anecdotes that shed light on the man behind the headlines.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, has a controversial and impactful leadership style, making bold decisions and sparking intense debates about the nation’s direction.
  • Duterte’s unorthodox approach to governance, tough stance on issues, and colorful language have reshaped the political landscape of the Philippines, leaving a lasting impact on its people.
Table of Contents

Duterte served as the Mayor of Davao City for over two decades

Rodrigo Duterte was the mayor of Davao City, located in the southern part of the Philippines, from 1988 to His long tenure in this position allowed him to implement various policies and measures to combat crime and transform the city into one of the safest in the country.

Duterte has a tough stance on the war on drugs

One of the most controversial aspects of Duterte’s presidency is his tough approach towards the drug problem in the Philippines. Since taking office in 2016, he initiated a nationwide crackdown on drug dealers and users, resulting in thousands of deaths and raising concerns from international human rights organizations.

Duterte is known for his colorful language

The President is infamous for his use of profanity and derogatory remarks, often using them to express his opinions and frustrations. His unfiltered style has garnered both support and criticism, with some praising his authenticity while others find it offensive and unbecoming of a world leader.

Duterte’s policies prioritize national security

Throughout his presidency, Duterte has prioritized national security, particularly in dealing with terrorism and insurgency. He has strengthened the military and has pursued peace talks with various rebel groups in the country, aiming to bring lasting peace to conflict-torn areas.

Duterte’s war against corruption

The President has been vocal about his commitment to fighting corruption in the government. He established an anti-corruption hotline where citizens can report corrupt officials anonymously, and he has taken decisive actions against high-ranking officials accused of involvement in corrupt practices.

Duterte has strained relations with the United States

Duterte’s presidency has witnessed a shift in the Philippines’ foreign policy, particularly towards the United States. He has openly criticized the US government and has sought to strengthen ties with other world powers, such as China and Russia.

Duterte’s controversial statements towards international leaders

The President is no stranger to making controversial statements about international leaders. From public spats with former US President Barack Obama to provocative comments towards the Pope, Duterte’s uncensored remarks have often made headlines and stirred diplomatic tensions.

Duterte’s pivot towards China

Under Duterte’s leadership, the Philippines has pursued closer ties with China, despite long-standing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. His friendly approach towards China has raised concerns among some Filipinos and has sparked debates about the country’s national interests.

Duterte’s martial law declaration in Mindanao

In response to the Marawi crisis in 2017, Duterte declared martial law in Mindanao, the southern region of the Philippines. The move was aimed at combating terrorism and restoring order in the area, but it also drew mixed reactions from the public and human rights organizations.

Duterte’s controversial stance on human rights

The President’s strong-handed approach in the war on drugs has raised concerns about human rights violations. There have been allegations of extrajudicial killings and abuses by law enforcement during the crackdown, leading to calls for an independent investigation.

Duterte’s popularity among a significant portion of the Filipino population

Despite the controversies surrounding his presidency, Duterte remains popular among many Filipinos who appreciate his tough approach to governance and his efforts to address long-standing issues in the country.

Duterte’s strict policies during the COVID-19 pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Duterte implemented stringent measures to contain the spread of the virus. This included strict lockdowns, travel restrictions, and the enforcement of health protocols, which garnered both praise and criticism.

Duterte’s support for a shift to federalism

Throughout his tenure, Duterte has advocated for a shift to a federal form of government in the Philippines. He believes that federalism can lead to more equitable distribution of resources and greater autonomy for regions.

Duterte’s controversial remarks on women

The President has been criticized for his derogatory and offensive remarks towards women. His comments, often laced with misogyny, have sparked outrage among women’s rights advocates and led to calls for greater gender equality in the country.

Duterte’s unconventional communication style

Duterte is known for his unscripted speeches and impromptu interactions with the media. His unfiltered communication style has made him a popular figure in social media and has gained him a following of supporters who appreciate his authenticity.

Duterte’s impact on the political landscape of the Philippines

The presidency of Rodrigo Duterte has undeniably left a significant mark on the political landscape of the Philippines. His unorthodox approach to governance, contentious policies, and divisive rhetoric have reshaped the country’s political dynamics and sparked intense debates about the direction of the nation.

In conclusion, Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency has been marked by controversy, bold decisions, and a unique leadership style. Love him or hate him, there is no denying that he has brought significant changes to the Philippines and remains a central figure in global politics. The 16 intriguing facts about Rodrigo Duterte shed light on the complexities of his reign, leaving us to ponder the impact he has had and will continue to have on the nation and its people.


In conclusion, Rodrigo Duterte is a complex and controversial figure who has left an indelible mark on Philippine politics. From his tough stance on crime to his unfiltered rhetoric and unconventional style of governance, Duterte has captured the attention of the world. While his administration has earned praise for its focus on infrastructure development and economic reforms, it has also faced criticism for alleged human rights abuses and attacks on press freedom.

Love him or hate him, Duterte’s presidency has undoubtedly reshaped the political landscape of the Philippines. Whether his legacy will be remembered as a force for positive change or a period of turbulence and controversy remains to be seen. However, one thing is certain – Duterte will forever be a fascinating and polarizing figure in Philippine history.


1. Is Rodrigo Duterte still the President of the Philippines?

As of the time of writing this article, Rodrigo Duterte is serving as the President of the Philippines. His term began on June 30, 2016, and is set to end on June 30, 2022.

2. What are some of the notable achievements of Duterte’s administration?

Duterte’s administration has prioritized infrastructure development in the Philippines, with flagship projects such as “Build, Build, Build” aiming to improve transportation and connectivity. Additionally, the administration has launched economic reforms to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth.

3. Has Duterte’s controversial war on drugs been successful?

Duterte’s war on drugs has been a subject of intense debate and criticism. Supporters argue that it has resulted in a decrease in drug-related crimes, while critics point to alleged human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings. The effectiveness and impact of the war on drugs remain highly contentious.

4. How has Duterte’s presidency affected the Philippines’ relationship with other countries?

Duterte’s presidency has had varying impacts on the Philippines’ relationships with other countries. While he has sought closer ties with China, there have been tensions with other nations, such as the United States and some European countries, due to concerns over human rights issues.

5. What is Duterte’s stance on press freedom?

Duterte has been criticized for his anti-media rhetoric and actions that are perceived as threats to press freedom. There have been instances of journalists being harassed or facing legal challenges for their critical reporting on the government.

Rodrigo Duterte's leadership has left an indelible mark on Philippine politics. His unconventional approach and controversial policies have sparked intense debates both within the country and on the international stage. From his humble beginnings in Davao City to his rise as a prominent figure in national politics, Duterte's journey is filled with intriguing facts and surprising revelations. For those eager to learn more about this enigmatic leader, our article "14 Captivating Facts About Rodrigo Duterte" offers a deeper look into his life, career, and the lasting impact he has had on the Philippines.

Was this page helpful?

Our commitment to delivering trustworthy and engaging content is at the heart of what we do. Each fact on our site is contributed by real users like you, bringing a wealth of diverse insights and information. To ensure the highest standards of accuracy and reliability, our dedicated editors meticulously review each submission. This process guarantees that the facts we share are not only fascinating but also credible. Trust in our commitment to quality and authenticity as you explore and learn with us.