Du30 on love: ‘Nakasira ta­laga (ng buhay)’


LAST Feb. 9, at the debut party for ac­tress Ys­abel Ortega, daugh­ter of for­mer sen­a­tor Lito Lapid and singer Michelle Ortega, Pres­i­dent Duterte cau­tioned her about rush­ing into early “emo­tional in­volve­ment”: “Nakasira ta­laga [ ng buhay] , yang pa-in love, in love na iyan.”

He should know: he’s ex­pe­ri­enced in the ways of love, a wom­an­izer. Which he ad­mit­ted pub­licly at a Dec. 1, 2015 con­cert: “that is true, that is very true,” he said.

Not from the view of a love vic­tim, the fate of many a young woman, but in the eyes of the preda­tor who lures the woman to the fall.

More girl­friends While woo­ing votes in the pres­i­den­tial race, Duterte con­fessed to hav­ing two wives: El­iz­a­beth Zim­mer­man, an ex-flight stew­ardess, with whom he has three chil­dren, and “Honeylet” Avanceña, a nurse, with whom he has a daugh­ter. And two girl­friends, whom he didn’t name: a cashier and a cos­met­ics shop worker, who lived in P1,500/month board­ing houses and didn’t need a car (as their trip, he said, was “only from the house to a ho­tel”).

The Pasay City re­gional trial court that an­nulled in 2000 his 27-year mar­riage to Zim­mer­man in­di­cated there were more girl­friends than Duterte ad­mit­ted to vot­ers. The court noted he had “the pen­chant to en­gage in ex­tra­mar­i­tal af­fairs through­out his mar­ried life.” His wife al­leged Duterte was “a wom­an­izer who had fre­quent out­bursts of tem­per.” (Check out a Rap­pler story on the lit­i­ga­tion by Marites Dan­guilan-Vi­tug.)

He chose not to con­test the al­le­ga­tions and owned them up pub­licly. The court in its 2000 de­ci­sion an­nulling his mar­riage said he “flaunted” the women, in­tro­duc­ing them as “Mrs. Duterte” at so­cial func­tions.

Politi­cians too So the more valu­able ad­vice Duterte could’ve given young women like Ys­abel Ortega: how to han­dle love with a wom­an­izer like him. To pre­vent a head­long plunge into love or sur­vive the fall— and per­haps snag a pres­i­dent as the love part­ner.

Other politi­cians may learn too from his skill in “com­part­men­tal­iz­ing,” which the court rul­ing rec­og­nized: his “be­ing a good gov­ern­ment leader but not a do­mes­tic leader,” a hall­mark in the mas­tery of love.

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