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Duterte to visit Albay on Monday

By Genalyn Kabiling
Fresh from his official trip to India, President Rodrigo Duterte is planning to visit Albay province on Monday to check on the plight of the evacuees following the eruption of Mayon volcano.

The President said he intends to rest for two days to nurse his migraine and then travel to Albay province.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and India Prime Minister Narendra Modi declare their joint statement following a successful bilateral meeting at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, India on January 24, 2018. KARL NORMAN ALONZO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


“Inaatake ako ng migraine ko [I’m having a migraine attack] and I have a cold coming up,” Duterte said in a press conference upon arrival in Davao City from his visit to India early Saturday morning.

“I’ll probably take a rest for a day or two, I will go to — sa Mayon. Ang problema kung saan tayo mag-landing. Sa tabing dagat siguro [the problem is where to land, probably near the shore],” he added.

Duterte remained unfazed by the ash cloud and smoke wrapping around the volcano when he flies to Albay. “If it’s safe to go there and even if it’s not, you give me the space to land. If I am cleared, I will go there in about one or two days,” he said.

Mayon volcano has erupted spewing red hot lava and sending up columns of ash over farmland and towns. Thousands of families have stayed in temporary shelters after fleeing the danger zone around the restive volcano. Several flights have also been cancelled due to the intense effects of the volcanic eruption.

The volcano showed no signs of calming down soon as authorities warned that the activity might still escalate.

The President, in his remarks early Saturday, joked that if the volcano was a person, he would have kicked him for its restiveness.

“Tigas ulo ‘yang Mayon na ‘yan, sinabi ko na ‘wag ka munang pumutok eh kay mag-alis ako. Sige, paputukin mo basta as long as everybody has complied with the safety zones and nobody is near enough to be hurt,” he said.

“Eh patakot-takot ‘yan siyang puputukin — gusto ko — kung tao lang ‘yan, sipain ko ‘yan,” the former Davao City mayor said.

On the additional disaster release funds for Albay, the President assured that the money has already been released by the budget department to the concerned local government unit.

“So the delay, the hitch must be somewhere else, pero hindi kami kasi sabi ko ilarga mo na kaagad,” he said.

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