Pres. Duterte’s speech: Truly presidential

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - July 1, 2016 - 12:00am

It was inauguration time for Vice President Leni Robredo in Quezon City, followed by the oath taking ceremony for Davao City Mayor President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte. I was watching the various networks having their satellite TV feed and somehow there was a concerted effort by the various TV anchors, especially Vicky Morales of GMA-7 to ask the question why President Duterte did not give VP Leni Robredo any positions in his government.

It was the first official function that ill-fated Presidential bet Mar Roxas attended. For sure, the remnants of the yellow regime were all in attendance in the oath taking ceremonies for VP Leni Robredo. I'm sure that most of the Liberal Party members who were in attendance during her inauguration had only one prayer, that she will not be a spare tire for a long time as that's the only way that the LP can be resurrected.

It is a common trait of vice presidents in this country to use their official position to prepare themselves as the nation's next president. This happened to the late Vice President Salvador "Doy" Laurel and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Of all the Vice Presidents only Vice President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was able to assume the presidency after the ouster of President Joseph "Erap" Estrada.

Incidentally, if all the TV networks were able to cover the inauguration of VP Leni Robredo, it is due to the fact that the media was banned from covering the inaugural ceremonies of President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte. Everyone had to tap at the satellite feed of PTV-4. Call it media's comeuppance because President Duterte cannot tolerate the slant of many media personalities. So in the end, this was the most equitable way for media to be able to cover yesterday's historic event.

Mind you, we also tasted the same thing when MyTV covered the canonization of San Pedro Calungsod three years ago. When we got into St. Peter's Square we were so elated that we were the first TV network that had the best vantage view of the canonization event. But 30 minutes before the start of the ceremonies, a Swiss Guard approached us and politely told us that all TV networks had a special place up in the colonnade and he told us where to pass. So we had to move and learned that only the Eternal Work Television Network cameras were allowed where we once stood.

At this point, I shall reprint the inaugural speech of President Rodrigo "Digong" Duterte who spoke for nearly 15-minutes, where I expected him to become Presidential, unlike during the campaign where he sounded uncouth and unruly. But yesterday we saw a very presidential Rody Duterte. But since his speech was long, I will only reprint what I believe are the important statements that define the Duterte Presidency.

Perhaps the most important part of President Duterte's inaugural speech was when he said, "As a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not. My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising. You mind your work and I will mind mine." This should put at ease or allay the fears of those who say that the Duterte Presidency will be like a dictatorship.

This is the part that spells what President Duterte truly believes is happening in our country today. "There are many amongst us who advance the assessment that the problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency, are corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order."

"True, but not absolutely so. For I see these ills as mere symptoms of a virulent social disease that creeps and cuts into the moral fiber of Philippine society. I sense a problem deeper and more serious than any of those mentioned or all of them put together. But of course, it is not to say that we will ignore them because they have to be stopped by all means that the law allows. Erosion of faith and trust in government - that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people's trust in our country's leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people's lives better, safer, and healthier."

Then President Duterte came up with a quotation from US Pres. Franklin Delano Roosevelt who quipped, "The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little." Then taking another quote from US President Abraham Lincoln, who said, "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men."

In my view, President Rodrigo Duterte's speech made him truly presidential.


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