By Genalyn Kabiling
Is the presidency the hardest job in the country?
For President Duterte, being the country’s leader requires working longer than 24 hours a day.
The President, speaking at the Masskara festival in Bacolod last Saturday, conceded that he needs “25 hours” to lead the country and produce results.
“You know you elected me as a worker of the national government and you expect me to really produce and work hard at it. There must be results and I’m trying really to do everything I can possibly humanly,” Duterte said.
“Minsan nauubos na ako ng panahon. I think that I need about not 24 but 25 hours everyday. Talagang sumagad. Pumayat ako, tumaba, tapos sabi nila nagkasakit daw ako [Sometimes I’ve ran out of time. I think I need about not 24 but 25 hours everyday. It exceeded the limit. I’ve grown thin, fat and some said I’ve fallen sick],” he said.
The 73-year-old President admitted working long hours despite receiving a meager salary. He said he only earns around P207,000 a month as the country’s leader while others receive millions. Unlike other government officials, he also claimed that he has no other allowance.
Duterte previously felt his monthly salary was not enough to compensate for the hard work in running the county. He said he deserves a monthly pay of at least a million pesos especially since he has two families to look after.
In his remarks last Saturday, Duterte said he was fighting illegal drugs, crimes and corruption, renewing his oath “to preserve this nation and protect the people.”
He said he would not back down from his war on drugs despite crticisms from human rights groups, reiterating his vow to “kill” those who destroy the country.
“I have said it before and I will say it again for the nth time: Do not destroy my country with drugs because I will really kill you,” he said. “Human Rights, you can go to hell with them. Do not destroy the young,” he added.