‘I cannot just sit on my ass in my office while people suffer there,’ says President Rodrigo Duterte
MANILA, Philippines (Jun. 30, 2017) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he plans to visit Marawi City on Friday, June 30, incidentally his first anniversary as Chief Executive, saying he “cannot just sit on my ass” while people of Marawi suffer.
“I want to go to Marawi. I think I’ll go there on Friday,” Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino on Wednesday, June 28, in a speech for the 120th anniversary of the Presidential Security Group (PSG).
“I cannot just sit on my ass in my office while people suffer there,” Duterte added.
Marawi is the site of clashes between government troops and local terrorists, which prompted Duterte to declare martial law in the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao on May 23.
The Marawi crisis is the worst being faced by the one-year-old Duterte administration.
Duterte was scheduled to visit Marawi on June 8, but was forced to cancel this trip due to bad weather. The President, however, later visited Iligan City, where thousands of evacuees fled after the Marawi crisis erupted.
On his planned visit to Marawi, Duterte said on Wednesday that he is also ready to come home as “cargo” to be loaded on a C130 plane.
“It’s about too late in the day to be hesitating to go there. I will go there,” Duterte said.
The President continued: “Eh ‘di kung walang suwerte, eh di uuwi ako dito, cargo rin. C130. Tutal may Bise Presidente naman, ano ba naman ang problema natin?” (If I have no luck, then I will come home also as cargo. C130. Anyway there’s a Vice President, so what’s our problem?)
Duterte on Wednesday stressed that Vice President Leni Robredo is his constitutional successor, as he joked about a “pretender to the throne,” habitual nuisance bet and suspended lawyer Elly Pamatong.