MALACAÑANG said President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office “felt like three years” because of the amount of work his administration has accomplished, and took aim at critics who act “as if they were not Filipinos.”
After winning the presidential race with a commanding lead over his closest rivals, Duterte will mark his first year in office on Friday, June 30, still trying to fulfill his campaign promise of change.
“You know it actually feels like three years already, right? Considering the amount of work to be done, considering the challenges and all the matters that have been addressed,” said Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella.
Duterte’s spokesman added that he simply wished for people to be “more united in appreciating [the President] and not act as if they were not Filipinos.”
On the campaign trail, Duterte, then Davao mayor, vowed to eradicate the illegal drug trade and stop criminality in six months; raise police, military salaries within three years; eliminate red tape in government and ensure that Filipinos don’t have to line up when dealing with government offices; restart peace talks with secessionist groups; and shift to a federal form of government.
Now dealing with an Islamic State-inspired terrorist threat in Mindanao where he declared martial law, Duterte, 72, may be hard pressed to fulfill his promises.
His critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, however, said concern about the President’s health was unnecessary since he was likely to live a long life since “weeds do not die easily.”
Speaking in the regular “Kapihan sa Senado,” Trillanes said he presumed the President is healthy and capable of doing his job.
“So, I am not too focussed on it [health],” he said, responding to questions about the President’s week-long absence from public events.
But Trillanes said the public has the right to know the truth about the President’s health, not because they want him to die but because it’s in the Constitution.
Another member of the minority bloc, Senator Francis Pangilinan, said there was nothing personal when he asked the Presient to disclose to the public his health condition. With Macon Ramos-Araneta
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