DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/10 January) – Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to visit President Rodrigo R. Duterte in his now famous humble residence at Doña Luisa Subdivision in Matina, Davao City, the Presidential Communications and Operations Office (PCOO) said.
PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar announced the planned visit on TV5 on Sunday morning, but did not reveal details.
Abe is scheduled to visit the country on January 12 and 13.
“And the Prime Minister said na gusto niyang bisitahin ang (that he wants to visit Davao City, si Presidente, gusto niyang mapuntahan ang bahay ni Presidente Duterte, iyong bahay mismo sa (the President’s house itself in) Davao City,” Andanar said.
Abe, who will reciprocate Duterte’s state visit in Japan in October last year, will be the first head of state to visit the country under the current administration.
City Tourism Office head Generose Tecson told MindaNews that several tourists have come to see the now popular green-painted house of the Dutertes in Matina.
The President himself bragged of his home as being simple. He spent his first Christmas as the country’s president in his home.
The Department of Tourism 11 even initiated in August 2016 a “Duterte package” that made Duterte’s residence, the City hall, the Central 911, and Public Safety and Security Command as the main highlights of the tour.
“At first, they were not sure if it was going to take off,” Tecson said of the Duterte package. “But when they bring guests especially to PRRD’s house, they find people asking if it’s a joke that it’s really his house. And they always ask to have their photos taken with his life-sized picture with the house as background.”
Even tourists who did not avail of the package would always ask to be taken to the house of the president where they pose for photos.
Duterte was mayor of Davao City for 22 years — from 1988 to 1998, 2001 to 2010 and 2013 to 2016.
Police Regional Office 11 spokesperson Chief Insp. Andrea Dela Cerna said that some 3,000 security personnel will be deployed during Abe’s visit in the city.
Philippine and Japanese flags have been attached to every electric post along Roxas Avenue where security forces have been detailed since Monday. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)