Duterte to board topnotchers: Serve the country first

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte encouraged four board topnotchers who were scholars of the city to serve the country first before setting their eyes abroad.

Duterte lauded Gracielle Ma. Rosette Enobio of the University of the Immaculate Conception (UIC), who placed sixth in the Nutrition and Dietetics licensure exam in July 2013; Abigail Mae Talipe of the University of Mindanao (UM), seventh in the Licensure Exam for Teachers for the elementary level in January 2014; and Honey Jane Bacus (UM), first in the Social Work Licensure exam in June 2014, during the Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa show on Sunday.

He also congratulated Sherald Winchel Pintacasi Ang, ninth in the CPA licensure exam in October 2013.


The four topnotchers are scholars of Davao City Scholarship on Tertiary Education Program (Step).

“Ayaw mo ug adtog gawas, especially sa Middle East. It’s a troubled world out there, Syria, Libya. We cannot protect you there,” Duterte said.

The three female-topnotchers paid a courtesy call to Duterte by also guesting during the taping of the government-paid television show.

“Pero pag diri sa Pilipinas, bisag asa ka naa ma’y cellphone. Sabihin mo lang, ‘Mayor nandito ako sa Samar, Leyte binabastos ako.’ Tawagan ko lang kaagad ang police. Pero doon powerless ako. But dito I can solve problems as far as Tuguegarao. I can over extend my assistance to you pero sa ibang lugar, well there are countries, maybe, that are good place to work but other places avoid it and I’d like to talk to you kasi mga topnotchers kayo,” he said.

The Step began in 2008 and has already produced 42 cum laudes and nine magna cum laudes out of 279 of their academic scholars that have graduated.

“The people of Davao will continue to support the education of young people who are intelligent but do not have the financial capability to enroll themselves in college,” Duterte said.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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