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Building a better Philippines

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By Argyll Geducos

Three years into his presidency, President Duterte has expressed regret about running for and winning the most-coveted seat in the government but expressed intention to see the end of his term.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO  / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR. / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Duterte won the 2016 national elections by a landslide, with around 6 million votes ahead of the second-placer. Since then, Duterte has been going around trying to make true his promises.

However recently, President Duterte expressed regret about running for the presidency and winning it, noting the number of people he had to cut ties with due to their alleged involvement in corruption.

“I regret running for the presidency and winning it. Because I have fired so many of my friends who supported me in 1988 to become mayor and who were there during the campaign to help me be president,” he said.

“As payback time I gave them positions. Ang masakit — what is painful is that they were the ones urging me to run. I did not want to run. I do not need it,” he added.

‘Halfway alrealdy’
However, Duterte said that he has three years left in his presidency and that he willing to see its end.

“Nandito na tayo sa gitna (We’re halfway already). You are in the — maybe a few chapters away. Pero ako, nandiyan na ako sa (But me, I am already in the) prologue or in the last pages where we sometimes in our thoughts ‘yung extra blank diyan (the extra page there),” he said.

Loyalty to country

Duterte also repeatedly appealed to the police and the military to not nurture any loyalty to him, saying he is only doing his duty as the country’s leader and is not trying to make himself stay in power.

“I do not want you to nurture any gratitude to me. I do not need it. I do not want you to nurture loyalty to me. I do not need it,” Duterte said.

“People are saying I’m doing it because I want to ingratiate my… No, the people of the Philippines elected me. There is no need for me to be closer than what is really normal in your hearts. I just love my country,” he added.

The President also reminded the public that he need not be thanked for his programs, saying he is being paid to do his job.

“I am finished with that accolades and clapping of the hands. It does not mean to me anything at all at this time. If I do something, you do not have to congratulate me,” Duterte said.

“I do not accept, as a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards. Why? Because I am paid to do exactly what I did or what am I doing,” he added.

His legacy

Duterte said that if there is one thing he wants to be remembered for, it’s his hard work.

“Just like any government worker that during my time, I taught a lot of hard work so that the others will follow. No great claims,” he said.

“Ang akin is trabaho lang. Maski anong gawa mo memorabilia, ganun, a hero. You cannot build a — ‘yung sabihin mo na para — (For me it’s just work. No matter what you do to be a hero, you cannot build something) for you to be remembered for all time. Julius Caesar was only remembered because he was stabbed by the senators,” he added.

Just a gov’t worker

Duterte said he would only want to be remembered as a worker in government and not for the things he had specifically done.

“I just want people or if they would really care to remember, he was once a government worker and he worked for the people,” he said.

“That’s the legacy that I’d like to leave. And when I’m gone, forget me. I would be flying, soaring the universe,” he added.

“But God maybe will remember me, hindi naman marami, not so many things, but for the good times that I did good things for my fellowmen,” he continued.

Building his legacy

Meanwhile, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that the last three years of President Duterte in office will be about protecting and building his legacy.

“The last three years will be about: first, protecting the Duterte legacy na nagawa na po nang mga nakaraang taon (which we have done already in the previous years). Secondly, building the final Duterte legacy,” he said.

According to the former journo, the last three years of the Duterte administration will ramp up socioeconomic initiatives to mitigate extreme poverty. He said these programs will focus on poverty alleviation, infrastructure development, and peace and order.

Andanar added that Duterte has not lost sight of his objective to bring down the poverty rate from 21 percent to 14 percent by 2022.

“Nandyan ‘yung mga imprastrakturang dapat matapos. At nandyan din po ang peace and order na matapos na ang (We still have the upcoming infrastructure projects and the peace and order after the) communism insurgency sa (in the) countryside,” Andanar said.

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