If elected, Duterte will commute daily to work—from Davao
Call him rustic, provincial or hick, but presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said he planned to go home to Davao every day should he be elected President, instead of sleeping in Malacañang, the customary home and office of the country’s chief executive.
“I will go home to Davao City every day after office hours because I want to sleep in my own bed. I will not sleep in Malacañang,” said the Davao City mayor who placed third in the latest Social Weather Stations survey. Vice President Jejomar Binay reemerged as survey front-runner, with Sen. Grace Poe and Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas statistically tied for second place.
As for the expenses and security risks involved in such daily trips, the 70-year-old Duterte said he would borrow the private jet of Davao religious leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy to spare the government the expected expense.
The mayor also shrugged off the security risks he would be exposed to. “I believe that if it’s your time (to die), nothing can stop it,” he said.
Only 5 on his team
Explaining his planned routine should he win the country’s top post, Duterte said: “I will have breakfast on the plane and be at my office at the start of office hours. I leave (for Davao) also at end of office hours,” the mayor said on Saturday on the sidelines of the induction of new officers of the La Naval Lodge No. 269 of the Masons of the Philippines in Paco, Manila.
Official visits at government expense and trips abroad will be kept to a minimum to avoid big expenses, Duterte said. He added: “In the case of necessary and official trips meant to enhance international relations, my team will be limited to only five people.”
The populist mayor vowed that under his presidency, “there will be no expensive banquets because how can you have banquets when you live in a nipa hut?”
In the same interview with reporters, Duterte said he had given instructions to his team not to accept donations from people who have vested interests.
“My order was not to accept donations from businessmen who have transactions with the government. I do not want to be compromised later. I can assure all businessmen that in my administration, I will be fair,” he said.
His presidential campaign, he added, is being financed by Davao businessmen who have asked nothing from him.
But Davao City’s mayor for 22 years turned evasive when asked if he would seek the support of the Masons who have nationwide membership in all sectors of society.
“I am here to talk about humanity and peace,” Duterte said.
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