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TIMESMAN | Family tree and Digong

MY first few second chance encounters of then City Prosecutor Rodrigo “Digong” Roa Duterte in person started when we crossed paths one morning in the early 80s at the stairs of the old Sangguniang Panglunsod before the building was renovated to what it is now. Pababa ako, paakyat siya ng hagdanan noon.

I greeted him “Good morning, Attorney!” and he replied “Good morning, Sir!”

When the Cory Revolution also known as Edsa Revolution in 1986 successfully overthrew the military regime of the dictator, the late Zafiro Respicio was appointed OIC of City Hall with Duterte as his vice.

Duterte’s appointed position was followed in the succeeding elections – as undefeated city mayor, representative of the city’s First District, and finally to the presidency. The rest is history.

The SP encounter was our first eye-to-eye meeting and in the succeeding months repeated almost every Friday night at his friend-businessman and big bike rider, Joaquin Angeles’ Yellow Fin seafood restaurant or sometime at KTV or After Dark at Ecoland, the Mayor’s frequented R&R places and also my late best friend Joe and I favorite hang-out to unwind. He was in his last term as city mayor before he became congressman that time.

Mayor Digong is known to be hard on criminals, a “Dirty Harry” of the city, a character portrayed by actor Clint Eastwood against gunslingers in the western movies.

Even when I was in Glendale, California while visiting a cousin before the pandemic, a deputy sheriff I met after telling him I came from Davao City, said “I know Mayor Duterte and love him for killing criminals.”

While the sheriff may be correct, to this writer, Mayor Digong has also pusong mamon especially to children.

When we transferred our residence at Dona Luisa Village (2) at Quimpo Boulevard in 1983, Mayor Digong also had his residence at Phase I of the subdivision with his live-in partner and daughter. He remained a resident in the area up to this day while I transferred my residence at Damosa Fairlane in Lanang seven years ago where I intend to spend the rest of my retirement years.

Why pusong mamon?

My four children, then still in grade school, had to walk for about a kilometer from the village to the next PUJ at Tulip Drive for a ride to school at UM. I couldn’t afford even a second-hand bicycle to own at that time.

One morning, while at the waiting shed for a PUJ that seldom passes that portion of Quimpo Boulevard, two-black pickup vehicles with armed men onboard pulled up and a person at the front seat of one of the vehicles called on the children to get in the pickup as he will bring them to school.

My eldest son Jojo who immediately recognized the person as he was also residing in the same subdivision’s world and mine are now limited in the four corners of our rooms. I’m four years older than him.

Nonetheless, rest assured that I’m still behind him in his fight against the ICC (International Criminal Court) intervention on his war on drugs during his Malacanang stint.


I’m the lone survivor of the three generations in the families of Dumasal and Tinitigan beginning with my grandparents on the side of my mother. I can’t recall anymore if I ever met personally my lolo and lola on my father’s side as I didn’t even know their names as well as my father’s siblings and his genealogical chart of his generation. Although, as told by my father himself, that his descendant was quite known in Cavite as business minded and matatapang.

While it may now impossible for me to complete the family tree I’ve been reconstructing the last few days as I’m now in between darkness and sunset of my life, yet my scheduled sentimental visit to my birthplace Pasay City (Metro Manila) before the year ends after more than six decades living in Davao City, may still help me find the missing link I’ve been seeking to establish.

Jin Lorenz, on-leave from his job, will spend Christmas ’23 and New Year with me in this trip.

Who knows, I might still locate the place where the inunan (uterus) where I was developed inside the womb of my mother was buried when I was born in 1941, eleven months before the Japanese occupation of Manila!



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