By Genalyn Kabiling
Nearing halfway through his six-year term, President Duterte said he would be retiring soon, and that people would eventually forget him.
But before he ends his term in 2022, the President has renewed his commitment to sustain the campaign against drugs, criminality, and corruption in keeping with his mandate to protect and preserve the nation.
“Kaya po ako naman ay talagang ginagawa ko lahat to protect the next generation. Itong lahat ng ito especially dito sa law and order remember I will not stay forever, [I am doing everything to protect the next generation. All of these, especially law and order, remember I will not stay forever],” he said during the opening of the Palarong Pambansa in Davao City last weekend.
“In three years I will be gone. I will retire, you will forget me and that is good,” said the former Davao City mayor.
Duterte has cautioned anew that the country would unlikely attain progress if there will be no law and order and if corruption persists. Such dim economic prospect could happen even if the country’s leader is given more than one term, he admitted.
“‘Pag ang Pilipino hindi makaabot ng law and order enough for our civilization to survive maski ilang taon ang ibigay mo sa isang presidente walang mangyari. At kung ang Pilipino ayaw huminto sa graft and corruption, ganun rin [If the Filipino could not attain law and order enough for our civilization to survive, no matter how many years you give a president, nothing will happen. If the Filipino also refuses to stop graft and corruption, it will be the same],” he said.
“Even if you give anybody, for as long as there is no law and order in this country and for as long as there is corruption in government, you can never expect development and progress to take place,” he said.
Duterte maintained that his administration remains determined in pursuing the campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. “I need your support, our young athletes, in this endeavor if we are to ensure a safe and progressive future for the next generation of Filipinos,” he told the young crowd.
The President, meantime, said he trusted Filipinos to decide on their fate and choose the next leader “with the heart.”
“I’ll leave it up to you to decide someday what you intend to do about your country. Inyo na ‘yan [That’s yours],” he said.
“You have so many options in a democracy and maybe piliin lang ninyo ‘yung tao na [and maybe you can choose someone] who has the heart. It could be a Muslim, it could be Maguindanao, it could be a Tausug, it could be an Ilocano,” he added.