As election campaigning kicks off, Duterte can't wait to get out of Malacañang

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A protester wearing a mask bearing the face of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pretends to sleep under a mosquito net to symbolize his inaction on the fuel price increase on October 29, 2021 in Metro Manila, Philippines. Duterte says he wants out of the presidential palace by April, and plans to sleep “wherever God takes him.” (Source: KABATAAN PARTYLIST/Facebook)
A protester wearing a mask bearing the face of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte pretends to sleep under a mosquito net to symbolize his inaction on the fuel price increase on October 29, 2021 in Metro Manila, Philippines. Duterte says he wants out of the presidential palace by April, and plans to sleep “wherever God takes him.” (Source: KABATAAN PARTYLIST/Facebook)

Despite having four months left in his term, President Rodrigo Duterte announced in the February 7 segment of his briefing program Talk to the People that he was “packing” his belongings in preparation for the end of his presidency. His term ends on June 30.

"Nag-iimpake na nga ako eh. 'Yung iba pinadala ko na. Iyong madala sa barko, ibinarko ko (I’m already packing. Some of my items have already been shipped.),” he said.

Duterte said that he wants out of the palace by April, and plans to sleep “wherever God takes him.”

"I should be out by March. Hindi ko na paabutin ng Abril. 'Di na matutulog rin dito [sa Malacañang]. Kung saan ako dalhin ng Panginoong Diyos, mag-practice na akong matulog doon," the president said.

(I should be out by March. I won’t make my stay last until April. I will no longer sleep here [in Malacañang]. Wherever God takes me, I will practice sleeping there.)

Moreover, Duterte mentioned that he was waiting for the turnover of his position.

“I await the day of the turnover. Matikman ko rin yung feeling ng outgoing president (I will finally experience what it’s like to be an outgoing president). I will be the one to meet the new president, then I will invite him here for a tête-à-tête,” he said.

Campaigning kicked off in the Philippines on Tuesday ahead of an election on May 9 to choose a successor to Duterte, who is, by law, limited to a single term. Aspirants aim to woo millions of voters as they hit the hustings for the three-month campaign season.

In April last year, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV called Duterte “lazy” and “indifferent”, after the president canceled his regular address twice. #NasaanAngPangulo even trended as people criticized the president in social media.

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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