DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 22 Feb) – The taxi driver who shot to fame after netizens shared videos of him impersonating the tough-talking President Rodrigo R. Duterte caused the crowd to burst into laughter as he delivered a speech before the start of a public hearing on the Universal Health Bills at the City Council here on Thursday morning.
The public hearing, presided by Senator JV Ejercito, who chairs the Committee on Heath and Demography, was attended by Senator Sonny Angara, chair of Committee on Ways and Means; Rep. Helen Tan; and representatives from different provincial, municipal, and city government units.
Elcias Bugsad is now called as “President Du32,” a moniker apparently copied from the abbreviation of the Chief Executive’s last name, Du30.
Bugsad opened his speech with the usual greeting to the guests, followed with a spontaneous message. Some parts were memorized lines from Duterte that he uttered many times over in his speeches.
His witty remarks on the Universal Health Bills, that he supports any measure that would improve health care system in the country, and that he is duty-bound to protect the Filipinos, drew cheers from the audience.
There are currently three versions of the proposed universal health measure in the Senate such as Senate Bill 60, SB 1458, and 1673, and only one in House of Representatives – House Bill 5784.
Throughout his five-minute speech, Bugsad copied the President’s firm tone of voice and accent, except that his was bereft of expletives.
Ejercito took notice of his improper attire in the public hearing – barong and jeans – at the end of his speech.
President Duterte once walked the halls of the City Council, serving as OIC vice mayor from 1986 to 1987 and vice mayor to his daughter-mayor from 2010 to 2013.
Duterte served as mayor from 1988 to 1998, representative of the first district from 1998 to 2001 and mayor again from 2001 to 2010. He was elected mayor again in 2013 until he was elected President in 2016. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)