The Philippine’s capo del capi, Rodrigo Duterte, yesterday spoke of his “sorrow” on having to give-up his motorcycles on becoming president, and offered his thoughts on riding and why it’s not worth owning a Harley. He banged-on (at some considerable length) about touring the Philippines by motorbike and how as a city mayor he used to ride every week on a motorcycle that his security team made him junk after winning the presidency earlier in the year.
Duterte’s pose as an urban cowboy is a major part of his “hard man” image that has endeared him to those millions of Filipinos who haven’t yet lost a family member to his “robust” approach to law enforcement. In spite of his apparent enthusiasm for dishing-out legal proceedings to offenders at the “pointy-end” he boasted of having reached speeds of 180 kph and owning a Yamaha and Honda as well as a Harley Davidson, although he said he was not too happy with the “hog” model as it over-heated. “Throw it in the ditch. It is useless and hot,” he said.
So far, in his presidency, more than 2,500 people have been killed, about three-quarters in police operations, and the rest apparently victims of vigilantes or druglords eliminating rivals.
I wonder how long before traffic offences start to attract the same level of official approbation.