VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Has Duterte kept his vow to stop cursing?

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has shocked and shamed many, and most of the time, his statements came with a cussword.

Even before winning the elections, the crime-busting, fearless Davao mayor has managed to offend women and rape victims, gays, those with disabilities — and even the Pope.

In an interview with Jessica Soho just after the elections, Duterte said cussing was part of his “political strategy.”


And when he won, Duterte promised he would undergo a “metamorphosis” after taking oath.

Asked by media to give a sample of a presidential demeanor, Duterte demonstrated:

“Ladies and gentlemen, media who are here you know when I get to be president, I have to tone down on my cursing and all that would be a past, a history. I have to concentrate on what happens to this country and to develop it and make it progress.”

Source: (Duterte promises ‘metamorphosis’ after inauguration)


But no such magical transformation happened. He cursed and took a potshot at the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations – those he considers his enemies in his war against drugs.

After his visit to Japan, Duterte said God talked to him on the plane, and asked him to “stop epithets” or he would bring the plane down.

He then made another solemn vow:

“So, I promise God to — not to express slang, cuss words and everything. So you guys hear me right always because promise to God is a promise to the Filipino people.”

Source: RTVMalacañang: Arrival from Japan (Speech), October 27, 2016 (Watch 09:16-09:40)

This time, did he get to keep it? Watch this video.


GMA News: State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, May 18, 2016 (Watch from 9:42 – 10:04)

PTV-4: Press Conference of President- Elect Rodrigo Duterte Part 2, June 2, 2016 (Watch 12:05-12:15)

PTV-4: Press Conference of President- Elect Rodrigo Duterte Part 4, June 2, 2016 (Watch 20:35 -21:10)

RTVMalacañang: 2016 Sulong Pilipinas: Local Governance Series, September 20, 2016 (Watch 47:00 -47:15)

RTVMalacañang: Ambush Interview in Davao City, November 1, 2016 (Watch 07:25- 07:43)

RTVMalacañang: Ceremonial Send-off of Vietnamese Fishermen Sual, Pangasinan , November 2 , 2016 (Watch 59:10- 59:20)

RTVMalacañang: Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ (IBP) Regional Convention (Speech), November 4, 2016 (Watch 47:43 – 48:45)


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Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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