Duterte ends break on Sunday, will face public on Monday

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DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/14 May) – Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, presumptive President-elect who shied away from public view after media interviews on election day, May 9, will make his first public appearance on Monday, May 16, spokesperson Peter Laviña, said.

In a press briefing Friday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, Laviña said the mayor will accept well-wishers and meet personalities who supported his candidacy for President at the Matina Enclaves, developed by Escandor Development Corporation (Esdevco).

Esdevco is owned by Duterte’s friend, businessman Glen Escandor.

Laviña said Duterte will welcome media interviews.

Duterte ends break on Sunday, will face public on Monday. He was last seen on May 9 during the elections, his visit to the grave of his parents and to his spiritual adviser, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV Duterte ends break on Sunday, will face public on Monday. He was last seen on May 9 during the elections, his visit to the grave of his parents and to his spiritual adviser, Pastor Apollo Quiboloy. MindaNews photo by ANTONIO L. COLINA IV

He added that Duterte is also expected to receive Monday the books from his former professor on Political Thought Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Laviña was unsure if these books were authored by Sison himself or gathered from countries around Europe.

“They are talking regularly on Skype,” he said.

He added that another event to thank supporters may be held separately but will be guarded closely for security reasons because “he is no longer the mayor campaigning for the Presidency. He is the presumptive President-elect already.”

Tighter security measures have already been in place which can be likened to the protocols followed by members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), to ensure the safety of the mayor, he said.

His security team is composed of retired officials from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (PNP), and a medical team will also be around. An aide has been assigned to the mayor to taste the meals before he eats, Laviña added.

“Naa na as suggested by the campaign security team. They made the presentations on the security protocols for the presumptive President-elect, which include protocols of the PSG. We created a PSG-like security,” he said.

Supporters are organizing on June 4 a thanksgiving event at the Crocodile Park in the city, which will be attended by thousands of Filipinos coming from different parts of the Philippines, according to Laviña.

“We are not stopping others from organizing their own celebrations,” he said.

On May 7, the last day of the 90-day election campaign, a total of 94,584 people converged at the Crocodile Park to join the historic attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the most people singing the national anthem.

The city failed to break record held current by Bangladesh with 264,000 last year.

The crowd caused traffic congestion along Diversion Road and supporters from all socioeconomic classes could be seen walking to and from the park. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)

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    TIME magazine’s CHARLIE CAMPBELL truly has an excellently eye for PHENOMENAL leaders who have graced the world’s parliaments. Featuring the presumptive president in its GLITZY pages is a great honor & privilege indeed for someone who didn’t only shuffle from one branch of government to another -a local chief executive, a congressional lawmaker & a prosecutor during the early days of his budding career- but who actually LEAPT if not POLEVAULTED from city mayorship to the presidency!

    THE vertical career shift itself is BEYOND doubt a rarity in itself. In the US, President Abraham Lincoln never won a post he aspired for in Congress (both House & the US Senate) and even the vice-presidency BUT he won a landslide victory when he set his sight higher towards the US presidency. That, too, is phenomenal like President Ronald Reagan who began his political career as governor of the State of California to become president of the United States.

    THERE is only one Filipino president who climbed up the political ladder and who eventually became the country’s 13th president – incumbent Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada. It took him years however to do so with crucial help from his stellar showbiz career. BUT what makes President-elect DU30 qualifiably more distinct than him is the career paths they pursued individually. The latter rose to fame out of the silver screen while the next president rose to phenomenal greatness out of genuine AND authentic crime-fighting stint in a city that used to be the Southern Philippine’s hotbed of militant insurgency & Islamic fundamentalism.

    NONETHELESS President-elect DU30’s rise to power is more than just METEORIC but HISTORIC. He isn’t just a novelty with predictably less than stellar LONGIVITY in the pursuit of his anti-crime, anti-corruption and anti-poverty advocacies. He will be there at the FOREFRONT to transform his visions into concrete reality. He won’t just shoot from the hip nor from his lips. President-elect DU30 will DO it, or fade away trying! Again, for those who keep the faith and believe in TRUE CHANGE on how our country’s affairs are to be run, we doff our hats for the PUNISHER!

    LIKE former President Corazon C. Aquino who likewise graced the glossy cover of TIME magazine three decades ago, we thank you for putting the Philippines back into the world scene as the FIGHTINGEST mayor who defied ALL odds, fought the choices of the oligarchs and won the overwhelming mandate and support of a grateful nation & its people!


    FROM ASIA’S bright star to the region’s RISING star- who wouldn’t want that? With the prospect of prolonged stagnation on the global scene, the United Nations is wary of member States making do with interrupted growth prospects in their respective economies. YET the Philippines is seemingly poised for a SUSTAINED gross domestic growth pattern that other Asian countries have found rather DIFFICULT to do in the short and medium term. What gives? Will our presumptive President DU30 do BETTER?

    THIS nagging question is rather HAZY at best PRIOR to the OVERWHELMING victory of President-elect DU30. The spectre of reverse economic prosperity ACTUALLY spooked the market for a while as the investment community remained cautious about the conduct of the national elections. But with less that 5% of the total voters’ turn-out already counted, the emergence of a clear winner in the feisty mayor from the South SPURRED a rally in the bourse with at least 2.6% in over three succeeding months while the national currency stabilizes at P46.72 against the almighty dollar. The amount itself is 1% higher than its former value for the entire period of the campaign.

    EVEN the rating agency Fitch affirmed the positive ‘BBB’ credit mark for the Philippines with a standing challenge to the incoming administration to at least sustain the governance initiatives set by Pres. BS Aquino. Concededly the 6.2% average growth rate remains to be the fastest since the 70s, the proverbial gold standard that President-elect DU30 has to maintain, if not SURPASS, in the next six years. Yet again, the overriding question remains: Can President-elect DU30 do it? I’m taking the affirmative stand; so YES – he can! It DOESN’T take a Nostradamus to PREDICT what his broad-based coalition government can and cannot do. Here is how the incoming president’s SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC economic framework can achieve his STRONG visions for the country:

    AT the outset, the neo-liberal economic policies of the current administration seem headed for a long haul. They are here to stay, whether we like it or not. The prospective Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III yesterday gave us a glimpse of a DU30 administration’s business plan which CONSPICUOUSLY asserts the retention of the macroeconomic fundamentals of the past four presidents since President Fidel V. Ramos. That fact alone SHOULD put the business community AT EASE over the unfounded prospect of a SOCIALIST blue-print to revamp the liberal capitalist orientation of our economy. But that’s only the TIP of the iceberg. What underpins the presumptive president’s economic policies is the REVITALIZATION of the present economic perspective to FINALLY spawn the much-awaited TRICKLE-DOWN redistributive effects to the social middle classes down to the unwashed proletarian majority WHO actually brought down the highly ELITIST approach of the ruling administration.

    THE broad parameter yet to be established is the STRENGTHENING of investment climate in the country. Making it conducive no longer offers sufficient incentives to foreign direct investments (FDIs) BUT actually getting them in does! For a start, President-elect DU30 intends to RECALIBRATE the effective tax rates of the country vis-a-vis the current inflation level. The immediate effects may be felt after the passage of a modified tax law which had not been reviewed since 1997. Ultimately, however, both individual as well as corporate tax payers will stand to benefit from the said tax reform as it allows for more disposable income in their pockets. Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara had actually proposed a tax reform bill in the Senate but Pres. Aquino seemed lukewarm to the concept. He thumbed it down and sought for its further review instead.

    APART from limiting tax burdens, President-elect DU30 also bats for ease of doing business to make it probably at par with Singapore. So far, the Omnibus Investment Code and other investment laws really have to be reviewed to attract more FDIs, especially with the prospect of declogging infrastructure-related projects under the PPP regime. Apparently this is a pressing matter to be looked into by the incoming government to ensure that pending contracts for big-ticket projects are either approved or rolled out immediately to avoid analysis-paralysis that had been the beef against Pres. Aquino. Coupled with the issuance of an executive order on FULL DISCLOSURE and PUBLIC ACCESS to information on practically ALL government-related transactions upon his assumption to office, public sector corruption MAY yet be abated, if not totally contained. Transparency International’s country CPI must register an improvement as well to further attract more foreign investments and inculcate CLEAN governance among top-level bureaucratic functionaries.

    SO FAR, these are the macro policy initiatives that President-elect DU30 can immediately set in place once he assumes power. On the other hand, the SOCIAL component of his policies provides the HEART of his liberal economic ideals. There had been CLEAR and POSITIVE indications of these populist initiatives since the inception of his campaign advocacies that well resonate across the country. For instance, the agriculture sector HAS to be given enough impetus to grow in terms of its productive capacity. An import-led economy requires a balancing act to spur the export industry, sustain our balance of trade payments and level up our dollar earnings. President-elect DU30’s priority in the largely neglected sector necessitates SUFFICIENT funding for the farm producers across ALL regions as he repeatedly promised during the campaign. His concept of cooperatives ventures among farmers is an idea whose time has come. The landless peasants must HAVE a voice in charting their own economic destinies!

    RELATIVE thereof is the emancipation of the indigenous cultural communities from institutional neglect. The IPRA Law of 1997 should be revisited to thresh out concerns among the natives on land tenure and ownership. Despite the affirmation of the Supreme Court ruling in Cruz v. DENR (2001), the economic benefits accrued from their ancestral lands remain vague IF ranged against foreign-led infrastructure projects within their ancestral domain. This, too, must be counter-checked from the existing investment policies of the government which ACTUALLY put in jeopardy the ancestral domain rights of our cultural minorities. To date, the distribution of lands according to the CARP of Pres. Corazon Aquino has not been fully carried out due to some contentious legal claims filed by the original landowning “barons” in the courts. Agrarian injustice foments insurgency in the countryside and thus must be attended to by the government.

    THE expansion of the CCT for those who live outside the fringes of our society IS a welcome prospect in the new administration. It, together with accessible healthcare privileges, may appear as a palliative measure BUT at least the redistributive benefits can be instantly availed by the marginalized sectors. A government with the highest welfare of the people at heart SHOULD not hesitate to allocate resources that would UPLIFT the plight of the mass poor. This likewise complements the thrust of the presumptive president to RETOOL the basic and tertiary education sector. It’s high time to demand from our young students to stay in school and to learn the fundamental rudiments of knowledge for enhanced viability of their economic future. The Singapore education model SHOULD be taken as a guide to build a strong nation of learners who, in turn, will serve as vital cogs in RESTRUCTURING a meritocratic society of highly skilled and learned citizens.

    THE social amelioration program of President-elect DU30 in the tertiary education front should also COMPLEMENT the local government units’ drive to expand the coverage of local scholarships among public universities. Former UP Pres. Jose Abueva’s STFAP program in campus may well serve as the initial blue-print to make QUALITY education ACCESSIBLE and AFFORDABLE to all university scholars. The Iskolar ng Bayan law of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is an excellent take-off point, too, towards the expansion of academic scholarships among poor but deserving college-bound students.

    DURING yesterday’s press conference baring the 8-Point Economic Agenda of President-elect DU30, there have been insidious voices in the sidelines claiming that his economic thrust and policies are MORE of the same relative to the incumbent. So where is CHANGE, they asked. For the uninitiated, there appears NO salient point of differences between the out-going and the incoming president. BUT for the truly concerned STAKEHOLDERS in the nation’s rebirth, the CHANGE lies not on how government FIX the policies that proved relevant and worthy to be retained but on how the low-lying FRUITS of economic prosperity FEED the hungry mouths of the poor!

    WITH social peace built upon minimized corruption and crime, RAINBOW of opportunities will truly shine brightly in our land. President-elect DU30’s sincerity to achieve it will ACTUALLY draw the insurgents and the Islamic fundamentalist rebels back to the negotiating table and once and for all REINTEGRATE into the country’s new social democratic paradigm. For relative peace to reign, a just BUT iron-fisted president MUST instil societal discipline and meritocracy. These can never be attained IF the criminal recidivists continue to sow fear & hungry stomachs lead a life of crime in drugs, kidnapping and murder.

    AND finally with a highly conducive climate for business, capital investments will be sustained not only in the service, electronics and manufacturing sectors BUT in agriculture as well. An agrarian-based economy can NEVER take off to a higher plane of progress IF its mainstream sector is left behind. There has to be a way to TRICKLE down the benefits of a stable domestic economic growth amid UN’s downcast prognosis of stagnation. BUT certainly, with the overwhelming electoral mandate reposed upon him, President DU30 will roll up his sleeves at once to ensure that his huge political capital WON’T just be needlessly squandered throughout his term. So best wishes to you, Mr. President! As law-abiding citizens, the Filipino people are behind you EVERY step of the way!


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