DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 30 June) — Dabawenyos cheered the inauguration of their seven-term mayor as the country’s 16th President but also expressed hope he will be able to deliver to the Filipino people within the next six years, the “tunay na pagbabago” (genuine change) he promised during the campaign.
Gloria Andrea U. Mendoza, 17, a second year student of BS in Entrepreneurship at the Ateneo de Davao Unviersity (ADDU), is optimistic that Duterte will be successful in his fight against crime, corruption, and poverty.
“I see Duterte leading us to a better Philippines by ending crime, corruption and poverty. I hope that God gives him strength and wisdom to perform all the tasks he’s destined to do,” she said.
Samuel Matunog, president of the Information Communications Technology (ICT)-Davao president Samuel Matunog told Mindanews that he is optimistic that President Rodrigo Duterte will be able to address the primary industry concerns of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).
“We have a number of concerns. But the most urgent is fast and affordable information superhighway for the greatest number of Filipinos. This is a critical infrastructure in a digital world. With President Duterte at the helm, we expect that this goal will finally be realized,” he said.
At the Mallengke in Bankerohan Public market, a deluge of Duterte supporters flocked to a cramped area where the inauguration was beamed live on a makeshift wide screen from Malacañan Palace.
Romedel Garing, 34, a vendor of “ukay-ukay” (second hand items), arrived early morning and prepared for display her merchandise of used bags and shoes until 8 a.m. then joined the crowd watching the historical event.
Her display was not far from where the wide screen stood and she could even hear Duterte’s message from a speaker but she said it was different seeing with her own eyes her mayor taking oath as the country’s highest official.
She left her store and joined the proud Dabawenyo crowd as they cheered when Associate Justice Bienvenido Reyes administered the oath of President Duterte.
“I’m so happy that our Mayor is finally the President. It’s different when he is the President,” she said in Cebuano. Garing said the number of drug addicts in the city was reduced under his leadership, “what more now that he is the President?”
Shortly after taking his oath, the cheers grew even more when Duterte delivered a 14-minute speech, his first message as President, to the Filipino people.
“Everyone was already cheering just before Duterte could say a word,” she said.
Mallengke security guard Alfie Ambaic, 32, said only 50 chairs were provided but he placed the number of crowd at about 200.
He said the viewers started coming at 8 a.m.
“It was really hot but the people did not complain as they were all excited,” he said.
Dionesia Blas, 63, who was looking after her daughter’s “ukay-ukay” stall inside Mallengke did not join the crowd due to her eye problem.
She showed her support and happiness from afar while listening intently to Duterte’s speech.
“He is finally the President. Other people would say that he is tough but for me I feel that he is not because he is only doing his job, to make the country better for the Filipino people. He does not want crimes like rape and drugs like marijuana,” she said.
Eric Clark Su, chief-executive-officer (CEO) of a homegrown IT company Lifebit, said Duterte delivered one of the most inspiring inaugural addresses.
“I like that it frames the problem as something big – eroded trust in government – that’s the root of all out problems. I like that he told the people that we all need to change, we should help each other and it will be a long hard to real reform and positive change,” he said.
He also lauded Duterte’s consistency in his fight against crime and drugs.
A social media advocate campaigning for Duterte at the height of the election period, Su said he is hoping that “they get early wins with criminality and dealing with the drug problem.”
He also hopes Duterte’s Cabinet officials will be able to deliver on his core agenda, that it will be “the most successful one in history and simultaneously improve each facet of government in record time. This will make the doubters and haters realize that they should be more productive and help get things done to fix the country.” (Antonio L. Colina IV /MindaNews)