Pres. Duterte mocks critics; says he’s working, sleeping alone in Palace, doing walks at 2 a.m.

Says his decision not to make public appearances for a few days meant to goad nitpickers

President Rodrigo Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on April 12, 2021. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte mocked his critics for nitpicking him on photos of him jogging and walking inside Malacanang amid the COVID-19 lockdown.

He also chided his critics, including Senator Leila De Lima, who had commented about the photos released by Senator Christopher “Bong” Go that showed him taking time out to get some exercise inside Palace grounds.

President Duterte said he had been working all along inside Malacanang, and stressed that there is nothing wrong even if ever he decides to go to his home in Davao to see his family.

And if he has no public appearances amid the lockdown and the surging COVID-19 cases due to more infectious variants in Metro Manila, President Duterte said he did that on purpose, especially as his critics were feasting on social media when he did not appear on public the past few days.

Duterte: “Noong nawala ako ng ilang araw, talagang sinadya ko ‘yon”-

Noong nawala ako ng ilang araw, talagang sinadya ko ‘yon, ganoon ako eh. Pagka kinakalkal mo ako lalo akong — ‘yong parang bata. Pagka lalo mo akong kinakantyawan eh mas lalo akong gagana,” Duterte said during his Talk to the Nation on Monday night, April 12. Before this, the last time that he made his public address was on March 29.   Malacanang had previously announced the public appearances of President Duterte had to be cut down amid rising COVID-19 cases among his cabinet members who attend the President’s regular Talk to the Nation, and the surge in coronavirus cases among Malacanang staff and even among Presidential Security Guards.

The 76-year old Philippine leader said he had been busy with paperwork inside Malacanang all this time, and working to find ways so that people could be given assistance amid the previous Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) which has now been shifted to Modified ECQ (MECQ).

“I was really working on the papers trying to find out if it’s not — ah well, not in accordance with law. It must be lawful and you know we have to intrude into so many things. But in times of crisis, we are just about really to ready to embark on something that can help the people especially on the food issue. Hindi na mawala ‘yang iba huwag lang ‘yang food,” Duterte said.

A photo of President Rodrigo Duterte working inside Malacanang posted by Senator Cristopher “Bong” Go on April 7, 2021 amid social media posts speculating on the President’s health. The senator appealed to the public for understanding and for support and to not participate in mudslinging since President Duterte was up to his neck with paperwork.(Photo courtesy Sen. Bong Go/Sen. Bong Go’s Facebook page)

The President questioned the motives of his political opponents, including Senator Leila De Lima, in making an issue out of his non-appearance in public the past few days, or even on his taking time out of his busy work schedule to exercise thru walking, jogging, or riding his bike around Palace grounds.

He said he did this around midnight, and even at 2 a.m.

President Rodrigo Duterte is seen here trying a big bike inside Malacanang grounds on Friday night, April 9, 2021 (Photo courtesy Sen. Bong Go/Sen. Bong Go’s Facebook page)

“Now the problem is you should look into the time I enjoy my hobbies. Gabi ‘yon alas dos ng madaling araw. Ano ba naman? Hindi, sa araw makita mo ako naggo-golf sabihin mo… Lalo na ito si De Lima, sinasabi nang naggo-golf kasi may problema. Eh kung mag-golf naman ako ng gabi, hatinggabi, eh umaalma na naman bakit ako nag-golf. Saan pa — ? Kailan pa ba ako?” he said.

Gusto kong magmotor tutal gabi naman. Kailangan lang ako ng dalawang pulis sa likod ko para walang mag-overtake-overtake at least maiwasan. That’s all I need. I just want to ride. Hindi naman masama ‘yang… And to ride at 2 o’clock in the morning, that is not taking the people’s time,” Duterte explained.

President Rodrigo Duterte is seen here jogging inside Malacanang grounds on Friday night, April 9, 2021 (Photo courtesy Sen. Bong Go/Sen. Bong Go’s Facebook page)

Alam ko kinakantyawan ako ni Mon Tulfo nito. Eh I cannot be sabihin mo na itong isa, ‘Nasaan ang Presidente? You know baka patay na.’ Eh sabihin ko sana na, ‘Eh nandito lang ako sa Malacañan natutulog ako mag-isa.,” he said during his Monday night public address.

He also chided his critics for again speculating on his health, and using social media to create doubt on his capacity to govern, when he did not appear in public the past few days.

-Duterte says he missed daughter’s bday because of work, lockdown-

He said he had even missed his daughter’s birthday when he was under lockdown in Malacanang working on papers.

“But I missed the daughter — daughter’s — my daughter’s birthday. Talagang hindi ako nakapunta doon because nagpipirma ako doon series of ‘yong sa agriculture. Pinag-aralan ko, binabasa ko habang nagsasalita sila dito,” he said.

“You know, the people must know that I am a resident of Davao City. I never pretended to be a resident of Sampaloc or Sta. Ana. Sinabi ko ang my residence is the City of Davao. And if I want to go home there on reasonable basis, I can because that is my home. Then, if I want to be unreasonable about it, talagang ang tawag sa Bisaya “gara-gara”, pangkantyaw, ginagawa ko rin ’yan. Tutal naman ‘yong pamasahe ko hindi naman sa gobyerno so I go home just to be there and come back the following day,” he said.

Duterte addressing his critics, and political opponents, said that their motive for trying to discredit him was obvious.

-“Galit ka lang kasi naging Presidente ako”-Duterte tells De Lima-

“You want me to… If you want me to die early, you must pray harder. Actually what you intend or what you would like to happen is to see me go. You want me to go and you are praying for that,” he said.

Duterte again hit De Lima for her comments on his performance as President.

“Galit ka lang kasi naging Presidente ako. Galit ka lang kasi ako may ginawa ako sa bayan. Galit ka lang kasi ako hindi ako pumayag na itong bayan ko pupunta sa aso. Galit ako kasi ang mga anak natin hindi ako papayag na magiging narcostate tayo. Galit ako dahil kung wala akong ginawa, we would have been a narcopolitics state. Hindi mo kaya ‘yan. Iyong ginawa ko hindi mo kaya sa totoo lang. Hindi mo talaga kaya. Naghahanap ka lang ng isyu.”

(Eagle News Service)