Filipinos urged to rally behind no-show Duterte  |...

Filipinos urged to rally behind no-show Duterte

Shared/Posted: Jun 13, 2016 at 10:08am

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DAVAO CITY, Philippines — While he did not attend the ceremonies, President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s presence was felt at the Independence Day rites here as his representative urged all Filipinos to rally behind the incoming Chief Executive.

In his speech at this city’s Rizal Park, Davao City administrator Jesus Melchor Quitain recalled the lessons of the 1896 revolution and called for national unity as he expressed disappointment with Filipinos who betray and take advantage of their own country.
READ: Aquino gives final plea against dictatorship | I will be a dictator vs bad guys–Duterte

“A long time has passed since June 12, 1896 yet the question that still demands an answer today is: Are we truly free? Are we truly united?” Quitain said in Filipino, adding that this year’s celebration was an opportunity “to reflect on whether we have remained true to the promise of the revolution.”
“The Filipino is still being deceived and taken advantage of by a fellow Filpino. How saddening,” he added.
The local official said hope was imminent in the incoming administration under the leadership of their longtime brash-talking mayor, who he said only had good intentions for the country, particularly reforming the way the government was being run.
“Hindi pa tapos ang laban. Ang ating bagong-halal na Pangulo, Rodrigo R. Duterte, ay handang-handa nang ipatupad ang kanyang pangako at mithiin na baguhin ang pamamalakad ng pamahalaan at imulat ang mga mata ng sambayanang Pilipino sa mga nangyayari sa kanyang kapaligiran tungo sa maunlad at mapayapang kinabukasan,” Quitain said.
Duterte, who won the presidential race by a landslide with an explosive anti-crime platform, will take oath as President ‪on June 30.
While saying that Duterte “can do a lot to make things different,” Quitain noted that the true change that the incoming President promised could only be achieved with the support and commitment of Filipinos to spur change in themselves and correct their ways.
“If we want change, that should start with each of us. Change, love of country and helping each other — that is what is needed to improve our country,” Quitain added, also in Filipino.
Duterte, who previously said his work schedule starts ‪at 1 p.m., did not attend the Independence Day ceremonies. Asked where the mayor was, Quitain said he was still probably sleeping.
“Hindi ko alam kung saan siya ngayon eh, pero alam ko tulog dahil umaga pa eh,” Quitain told reporters.
Duterte also skipped last year’s Independence Day rites here.
This year’s celebration was marked by flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremonies at Rizal’s monument, which were attended by representatives from the consulates of Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia, among other officials.

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