How Duterte lost his ‘freedom’ when he won the presidency

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How Duterte lost his ‘freedom’ when he won the presidency

Robinson Ninal

President Rodrigo Duterte tells fellow Bedans why he 'regrets to a certain extent' being the most powerful man in the country. 'Western mores' seem to have something to do with it.

While it has made him the most powerful Filipino, winning the presidency has also turned Rodrigo Duterte into a “prisoner,” he lamented before fellow San Beda law graduates at their homecoming on Saturday, November 26.

Answering a few questions that he himself asked, Duterte said he is not happy that he is president, and he regrets the top post “to a certain extent.”

Kasi ang trabaho ko diyan (Because of the nature of my work), I am like a prisoner actually. Nasa likod ko palagi police (The police is always behind me),” he said, referring to his aides. “Bigyan mo lang ako ng handcuffs pareho na ako [sa preso]. Wala akong freedom (Give me handcuffs and I’d be the same as a prisoner. I have no freedom). You lose entirely your private life,” he explained.

The President also referred to his loss of freedom to act as he normally would without public censure. While he has not given any indication that he will tone down his colorful public language, he seems to be more aware of the consequences of making off-color jokes and gestures.

Duterte, who himself has said he often makes funny remarks to lighten the mood of the audience he’s addressing, made a joke about getting good grades if San Beda admitted women during his time. He then segued to a joke he had made about Vice President Leni Robredo’s knees, during the third anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda, which drew criticism even from the Vice President herself.

Apparently aware of the negative comments on such a joke – which didn’t deter him from repeating it – Duterte added, “Ang problema, itong modern times and the living past, lahat na lang bawal (The problem with these modern times and the living past, everything is prohibited).”

Just to show how much of a “jokester” he is, the President said he would sometimes use his folder to hit the behind of his lady police aides.

E ako palabiro ako. Pati ‘yung mga babae na pulis pinaghahampas ko ang puwet, ginaganyan ko, diyan sa Malacanang. ‘Pag mainit ang ulo ko, dala ko folder ko (I’m a joker. Even the female cops, I hit them on their behind. I do it like this, in Malacañang. When I’m angry and I’m holding a folder),” he said, motioning as if hitting someone.

The President then again blamed the West, this time for making life less enjoyable because of its standards on political correctness.

Sinobrahan kasi nitong Western mores, sumobra ang mga putang-ina niya. Totoo. Nawalan na tuloy ng gana ang buhay natin (These Western mores are too much, son of a bitch. True. It sucked out our zest for life),” he said.

The public had a taste of Duterte’s irreverence even during the campaign, when he cursed Pople Francis for causing a traffic jam in Metro Manila when the then Davao City mayor was in town; and when he made a controversial rape joke involving a slain Australian missionary. –

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