MANILA, Philippines – The 16th president of the country, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, said during his inaugural address on Thursday, June 30, that “erosion of faith and trust in government” is the real problem that confronts the nation.
“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,” Duterte said before an audience of more than 600 who came to witness his oath-taking and listen to his less-than-15-minute inaugural address at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang.
While acknowledging that it is a problem that “dampens the human spirit”, Duterte gave assurances that “all is not lost”.
In fighting these societal evils, Duterte asked Congress and the Commission on Human Rights to “allow us a level of governance that is consistent to our mandate. The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained.”
Due process, rule of law
Addressing previously expressed concerns about the resort to extrajudicial killings, he said, “As a lawyer and 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.”
He added, “You mind your work and I will mind mine.”
Aware of public worry about how he will go about fighting crime and suppressing drug abuse, Duterte also said, “I know that there are those who do not approve of my methods of fighting criminality, the sale and use of illegal drugs and corruption. They say that my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal. In response let me say this: I have seen how corruption bled the government of funds, which were allocated for the use in uplifting the poor from the mire that they are in. I have seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined family relationships.”
Criminality, according to him, erased savings accumulated through years of hard work.
Addressing his Visayan constituents, he said “tinud-anay (real) nga kausaban (change)” is what won for him the presidency.
“Tinud-anay nga kabag-uhan (real change). Mao kana ang tumong sa atong pang-gobyerno (this is the direction of our government).”
But for change to be permanent and significant, he said, it must “start with us and in us.” Having become our worst enemies, he said, quoting literary writer F. Sionil Jose, “we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves.”
Indicating where he intends to take the country in terms of economic and political directions, he quoted US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt who spoke about the need to take care of those who have little. He also quoted Abraham Lincoln who said, “You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich.”
Duterte directed heads of departments and agencies to help make the lives of ordinary citizens easier by reducing requirements and processing time “of all applications from the submission to the release.”
He also asked that they “refrain from changing and bending the rules government contracts, transactions and projects already approved and awaiting implementation. Changing the rules when the game is on-going is wrong.”
When it comes to government contracts and transactions, the new president said he abhors secrecy and instead advocates “transparency in all government contracts, projects and business transactions” from proposals stage all the way to consummation.
President of all
Duterte said he was “elated” by the response to his call for peace and look forward to the participation of all, including indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process.
When he was elected, it was not to serve “the interests of any one person or any group or any one class. I serve every one and not only one.” He declared, “I have no friends to serve, I have no enemies to harm.”
He ended his inaugural speech, saying, “I am here because I love my country and I love the people of the Philippines. I am here, why? Because I am ready to start my work for the nation.” (READ: FULL TEXT: President Rodrigo Duterte’s inaugural speech) – Rappler.com
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