'Popular and powerful': Duterte not a lame duck leader — Andanar

Published July 26, 2021, 11:41 AM

by Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte is not a lame duck since the country’s hardworking leader remained popular and powerful towards the final stretch of his presidency, a Palace official said Monday.

President Rodrigo Duterte delivers a televised address at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on July 24, 2021. (Malacañang)

Ahead of the President’s final State of the Nation Address (SONA), Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar defended that the President has kept his high trust and approval ratings even he has one year left office.

According to Andanar, the President has also accomplished a lot in the past five years and will strive to achieve more in his last year in office especially in addressing the impact of the pandemic.

“Itong ating Pangulo ngayon ay isang Pangulo na napakataas ng kaniyang popularity rating, acceptance rating, approval rating, more than 80 percent. Ito ay hindi pa na-experience ng ating bansa na magkaroon ng isang Pangulo na matatapos na lamang ang termino at napakataas pa rin ng approval rating at isang Pangulo na hindi naging lame duck (Our President is a president who has a high popularity rating, acceptance rating, approval rating of more than 80 percent. Our country has never experienced having a President who still has a high approval rating towards the end of the term and a president who is not a lame duck),” Andanar said over government television Monday, July 2

“Kasi iyon nga sa bansa natin, nasanay tayo na kapag ang Pangulo ay nasa huling taon ay nagiging lame duck na (In our country, we are used to having a President becoming a lame duck in the final year in office) But we have a Presidente who even during his last year ay hindi lame duck, powerful pa (is not a lame duck and is actually powerful,” he said.

The President is set to highlight his recent accomplishments in office as well as plans and priorities for his final year when he delivers his sixth and final SONA Monday.

Duterte, who won by landslide in the 2016 elections on a promise to wipe out illegal drugs and corruption, will end his six-year term next year. He is not eligible for reelection but is instead considering a possible vice-presidential run next year supposedly to escape criminal prosecution.

Among his priority plans are accelerating the government’s pandemic response as well economic recovery efforts in the final 12 months in office.