Duterte leaves for Manila

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 June) – President-elect Rodrigo left for Manila at 9:05 p.m. Wednesday from F. Bangoy International Airport (formerly Davao International Airport) boarding an eight-seater Gulfstream G150 private jet.

The private jet took off 45 minutes after Duterte and his security convoy arrived at the Tactical Operations Group (TOG) 11 at 8:15 p.m.

FROM CITY MAYOR TO PRESIDENT. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte boards the private jet that brought him to Manila Wednesday night for his new role by Thursday noon as the country's 16th President and the first Mindanawon head of state. MindaNews photo by KEITH BACONGCO
FROM CITY MAYOR TO PRESIDENT. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte boards the private jet that brought him to Manila Wednesday night for his new role by Thursday noon as the country’s 16th President and the first Mindanawon head of state. MindaNews photo by KEITH BACONGCO

With the Duterte on the plane were his common-law wife Honeylet Avaceña, daughter Veronica, incoming Presidential Management Staff head Christopher “Bong” Go, incoming Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Col. Ronald Bautista, and two pilots.

Go, who has been his long-time executive assistant, arrived at 6:25 p.m.

The media covering him and several other spectators, both children and adults, patiently waited outside the old airport as early as 2 p.m. just to get a glimpse of Duterte, city mayor of Davao for 22 years.

Cecila Toldo, 52, a barangay health worker in Mati City and resident of Brgy. Sasa in Davao City, waited for over three hours outside the old airport to get a glimpse of Duterte before he left for Manila.

She is hopeful that Duterte and his cabinet officials will be able to address the drug menace and help the poor Filipino.

“Ampo nako sya madasigon nga mahimong pangulo, molambo ug magmadasigon ang iyang mga gabinite (I will pray that the president will work hard and succeed as well as his cabinet members),” she said.

icon_rrd1Go told reporters that Duterte’s call time at the Malacañang Palace is 11 a.m. where he will be welcomed by the outgoing President Benigno S. Aquino III. Shortly after, the incoming is expected to give the outgoing departure honors.

After arriving in Manila, Go said Duterte will go straight to his hotel.

“Tomorrow will just be a normal day. Tomorrow is not a holiday so we have to double time so that we will not get stuck in the traffic,” he said.

Duterte will be sworn in at 12 noon at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace and then he will administer the mass oath taking of his cabinet members and heads of different government bureaus.

Shortly after, Go added, Duterte will meet with his cabinet.

On July 1, the following day, Duterte will lead turnover ceremonies at the Philippine National Police (PNP) and at the Armed of Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the afternoon.

Mindanao business leaders optimistic, hopeful

Business leaders in Mindanao are optimistic of the administration of Duterte that he and his cabinet members will be able to fulfill campaign promises of a corruption-free government and stop criminality and drugs within the first three to six months of his term.

In a text message, Mindanao Business Council (MBC) chair Vicente T. Lao said he will throw an all-out support to Duterte, the first president from Mindanao.

“I am very happy that we were able to produce a president from Mindanao in my lifetime. My next dream will be for the Philippines to go federal. We have very high hopes for our President. He has the full support of MinBC,” he said.

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (DCCCII) president Bonifacio Tan is hopeful of Duterte and his cabinet that they will deliver the change that was promised during the campaign.

“We trust the capability of President Rodrgio R. Duterte and his team of cabinet secretaries. We support him. Hope to see the change to corruption-free government,” he said.

DCCCII executive president Sofronio Jucutan said he expects change within the first six months of Duterte’s administration.

“We are very optimistic. More so if President Duterte will deliver all those he promised in the first six months, and his chosen cabinet members are expected to deliver on his program of governance,” he said.

Last June 20 to 21 at the SMX Convention Center, Duterte’s economic team held a two-day consultative meeting with the private sector where they came up with recommendations on Duterte’s socio-economic agenda.