DAVAO CITY – Wondering how the children of President Rodrigo Duterte felt when they first stepped in Malacañang? Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte shared some of his experience when he appeared at a press conference here a day after his father’s inauguration.
President Rodrigo Duterte took his oath as the country’s 16th President on Thursday, June 30 inside the Rizal Ceremonial Hall in Malacañang Palace. The inauguration has more than 600 guests.
“We all felt nervous, but it was okay,” Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte said.
Pulong was joined by siblings Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Sebastian and Veronica.
“First time ganun kalaki na inauguration (It’s our first time to attend such big inauguration),” he said.
Duterte shared that they were not allowed to go out so they took their time to take selfies inside the Palace. Photos of the Duterte siblings, were posted on Facebook by Newsdesk Asia, an online media outfit in Davao City.
One of the photos showed President Duterte standing behind them. “The Duterte siblings with President Rodrigo Duterte as…well, the Presidential photobomber,” the caption reads. The photo has 42,000 reactions and was shared 8,646 times as of 5:23 pm on Friday, July 1.
“Mayor Inday is fond of selfies so that (picture taking) happened. Walang magawa sa loob, kami-kami lang dun (We were doing nothing and we were the only people inside),” the acting Mayor said.
“We were not allowed to go out,” he said.
‘PSG got mad’
When they went out to the streets to thank their father’s well-wishers, Duterte said the Presidential Security Group was rattled.
“Nagkagulo pa nga ang PSG kasi kami lahat lumabas dun sa street,” he told reporters here at a press conference held in the Conference Room of the Davao City Hall on Friday, July 1.
He said the PSG got mad.
“Nagalit ang PSG. Kulang na lang sabihin nila matigas talaga ang ulo ng mga Bisaya (The PSG were mad. They could almost tell us that Visayans are hard-headed),” he said.
Duterte said their brother Sebastian is still in Manila with their mother, Elizabeth Zimmerman, who is the President’s first wife. President Rodrigo Duterte is the first Philippine President from Mindanao.
A day after attending their father’s inauguration, Pulong arrived here Friday morning, and immediately attended a press conference to announce that Mayor Sara Duterte is on leave until July 22.
The President’s son also admitted that with the victory of their father it is not avoidable that they are under media’s scrutiny. “Being a Duterte, not only our job here as government officials, our action’s in public will be under the scrutiny of the media, kaya nga umiiwas kami sa media (that’s why we are avoiding the media),” he said.
Duterte quipped that he was able to avoid the media at the airport earlier after instructing his PSG detail.
President Duterte has earlier decided not to appear in press conferences following criticisms on his statements on media killings and after his catcalling a TV reporter during a press conference here.
His executive assistant, Christopher Go said the objective is “to avoid mistake”.
Pulong: President to stay 3 days in Manila, 3 days in Davao
Duterte also shared that his father will be spending three days in Manila and three days in Malacañang.
“From what I’ve heard, he will spend three days in Manila, three days here in Davao,” he said.
He also said that when his father was taking his oath, they still see him as a city mayor and not the President.
“Mayor pa rin sya, para sa amin. Walang pagkakaiba sa tingin namin sa kanya, parang mayor pa rin (He’s still a mayor for us. We see him no differently),” he said.
The President has served as mayor here for 22 years. He was first appointed vice mayor in 1988 and has never lost an election since then.
Ready to help dad
Asked by reporters if they will be helping their father with national projects, the younger Duterte said that they will wait for the President’s instructions.
“Hintayin lang namin kung anong gusto niya na matulong namin sa kanya (We will wait for his advise). If he needs some help with regards to anything. We are ready, we are his children,” he said.
He said assisting with the hosting of foreign leaders would be no problem since they can file leave from the office. But Duterte clarified that he will prioritize his job here as the Vice Mayor.
“I cannot leave my job here in the city. I wouldn’t,” he said. (davaotoday.com)