By Genalyn Kabiling
Either he gets assassinated or the country’s problems might just tempt him to hang himself.
President Duterte talked about the lifespan of the country’s leader after asking his security staff to remove a bulletproof protective glass in front of his podium during his visit to General Santos City on Thursday.
“Don’t shoot us politicians because we are just serving you,” he said in Visayan during the open-air agrarian reform event where he distributed lands to farmer beneficiaries.
“Honestly, if you were the President of a nation such as this, you would be tempted to hang yourself because there are so many problems,” he added.
Among the problems mentioned by the President in his speech were the communist insurgency and illegal drug trade.
“Our war with the NPA (New People’s Army) has taken a toll of almost three generations. Fifty-three years. Those who were born then have children now, and their children are having children of their own,” he added.
At the start of the event, the President spoke before the crowd behind a thick bulletproof glass installed by the Presidential Security Group as an extra layer of protection. He said the glass was aimed “to prevent me from being shot from there.”
Duterte asserted that he has done nothing wrong to the nation for him to be shot in public.
“Why would you shoot me when I did nothing wrong to you? Just choose anyone from them here. They all came from the military. They are all generals,” he said, referring to some senior government officials seated onstage.
Duterte asked his security staff to remove the glass in front of his podium, joking that he had a grenade on standby in case of any threat against him.
“Kindly remove this. Otherwise I will not speak. I want you to be blamed if I die. I have a grenade here. I will throw it at you,” he said.
The Presidential Security Group first used the thick protective glass on the President’s podium during a campaign rally in Malabon City last April. The protective equipment was also seen being used in some other presidential engagements held in open areas.
The “highest security protocols” are implemented to ensure the safety and protection of the country’s leader, according to PSG commander Brig. Gen. Eriel Niembra.
In the President’s engagements, he said the PSG assesses the venue and determines the type of security measures needed to be enforced. He said they placed the protective glass on the presidential podium since the activity was held in an open area.