By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Just days after his third anniversary as the country’s 16th president, President Duterte expressed regret anew about running for the post and eventually winning it because of the number of friends he had to spurn because of corruption.
In a speech in Pasay City, Duterte said that it pained him to have to fire those who were close to him since he was still Davao City mayor because of their involvement in corrupt practices.
“I regret running for the presidency and winning it. Because I have fired so many of my friends who supported me in 1988 to become mayor, and who were there in the hustings during the campaign to help me be president,” he said Tuesday evening.
“As payback time, I gave them positions. Ang masakit — what is painful is that they were the ones urging me to run. I did not want to run. I do not need it,” he added.
According to Duterte, he didn’t need to run for president because he was done with the fanfare of politics. However, he said he eventually did so because of his love for the country.
The President also said that there was no need for the people to be loyalty to him because he did not need it.
“I do not want you to nurture any gratitude to me. I do not need it. I do not want you to nurture loyalty to me. I do not need it,” Duterte said.
“People are saying I’m doing it because I want to ingratiate my… No, the people of the Philippines elected me. There is no need for me to be closer than what is really normal in your hearts. I just love my country,” he added.
Duterte also said that he did not need to be congratulated because to him, he was just doing his job.
“I am finished with that accolades and clapping of the hands. It does not mean to me anything at all at this time. If I do something, you do not have to congratulate me,” he said.
“I do not accept, as a matter of personal and official policy, I do not accept awards. Why? Because I am paid to do exactly what I did or what am I doing,” he added.