By Ellson Quismorio
Opposition congressmen’s Christmas wish for President Rodrigo Duterte is for him to change for the better, for the sake of the country.
This means dropping a few signature Duterte habits, according to Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman and Akbayan Party-list Rep. Tom Villarin. Both solons are members of the “Magnificent 7+” faction, which are consistent critics of the President in the House of Representatives.
“The President should have less jokes and more serious talks,” said Lagman. “It might be a belated advice, but it’s never too late to give good advice.”
A few weeks ago, Duterte was quoted as admitting the use of prohibited plant marijuana to keep him focused at work. Malacañang later brushed off this statement as a joke.
“Ang Christmas wish ko lang kay Pangulong Duterte ay mas malalimang pagninilay sa mga issue ng ating bansa. Tama na yung kanyang bravado (My Christmas wish for President Duterte is for him to have deeper meditation on the country’s issues),” Villarin said.
“Kailangan niya magbago (He needs to change). More wisdom for him,” added the party-list lawmaker, who like the tough-talking Duterte is based in Davao City.
Lagman also insinuated that the 73-year-old Chief Executive wasn’t always in touch with his alter-egos in the Cabinet.
“I think the President should be able to feel the pulse of the people. The President should be able to get a good consensus of his Cabinet members. And he should not be acting alone,” the Bicolano said.
On the other hand, Villarin reckoned that Duterte should be mindful of the fact that he is already halfway done with his six-year term in Malacañang.
“And habol dapat niya ay mas magiging wiser as the years of his tenure as president…nasa kalagitnaan na (His aim should be to become wiser as the years of his tenure as president…he is already at the halfway mark),” he said.