PRESIDENT Duterte has started packing the personal things that he brought with him when he moved into the Malacanang complex in 2016 as he starts to prepare to move out by March, in anticipation of the end of his six-year term in June.
The President, in his Talk to the People address on Monday night, said he wants to move out and start sleeping elsewhere by March and will just go to Malacanang daily for his remaining work.
“I should be out by, by March. It won’t reach April. I will no longer sleep here. Wherever the Lord takes me, I will practice sleeping there. I will just come here for day-to-day work and what’s left of the things that we have to work on,” he said.
The President had declined to stay at Malacanang Palace and chose to stay at the Bahay Pagbabago at the PSG Park, which is located across the Palace.
Duterte said he plans to buy a two-bedroom condominium unit “where I can hang out whenever I’m here in Manila.”
He said he does not have any place to live or stay in Metro Manila, adding he also does not have relatives who can accommodate him as they are abroad.
Duterte said he intends to address the public soon to thank them for electing him as president and is also looking forward to the day when he would turn over the reins of power to the new president. He said he intends to invite his successor for a “talk at least, or tea.”
His term will officially end on June 30.
The President also acknowledged the hard work and services rendered by his Cabinet, adding that he owes his popularity to them.
“I am not taking any credit without the, bringing in the entire entourage who has helped me in my work as a President… I have a good team and I get the proper support, and every Cabinet member is just functioning as well verily, they are really working and the results are good, it could be reflected on the people,” he said in mixed English and Filipino.
“I do not think that I deserve that popularity. I would rather share it with all of the department secretaries and the directors doing their job promptly and as fast,” he added.
The President cited as example the services rendered and accomplishments of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, National Task Force against Coronavirus disease chief implementer and vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr., and Presidential adviser on COVID response Vince Dizon in leading the fight against the pandemic.
Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Jacinto Paras reported to the President that many local officials continue to support Duterte and his administration and want him to continue serving as president if not for the Constitutional constraints.
Duterte said his administration is not perfect, but wanted to ensure that he tried his best and done what he could to ensure that under his term there was transparency, accountability and good governance. (J. Montemayor, Malaya)