By Claire Morales True, Managing Editor
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has started singing another tune on President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr., this time enjoining Filipinos to “come to terms” with the results of the May 9 polls and support Marcos and incoming leaders who need the people’s cooperation to ensure the country’s success.
“President-elect Marcos would need the cooperation and help of everybody. We must give it to him,” Duterte said in his fourth-to-the last Talk to the People.
“My fellow Filipinos, the next administration needs all our support and solidarity. Let us therefore give them our goodwill and best wishes as they endeavor to lead our country towards a better future,” he added.
At the same time, Duterte assured the public of a “smooth” and “peaceful” transition of power to his successor.
“As we approach June 30, this administration is both ready and eager to hand over the reins of government to our incoming leaders. I assure everyone that this process will be smooth and peaceful as we want the next administration to succeed for the benefit of country,” he said.
He noted that it is only though unity and compassion that the nation and people could overcome the country’s challenges.
It can be recalled that Duterte did not endorse Marcos or any presidential candidate in the May 9 elections, even criticizing Marcos as a “weak leader.” Duterte, however, rooted for Marcos’ runningmate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, who won overwhelming as the country’s next vice president.
Duterte, who vows out of office at noon on June 30 concluding a six-year term, said the public must respect the decision of the majority, adding that it is the essence of democracy.
“Pag nagsalita na yung taongbayan kung sino yung mga leader na gusto nila, sunod tayo. Iwasan ninyo ang politika (Once the people have decided on who they want as leader, we have to follow. Avoid politicking),” he added.
Duterte said Filipinos must be “united” in confronting issues such as the prevailing Covid-19 health crisis and speeding up post-pandemic recovery.
“We have no room for politicking or actions that are divisive to the country. Nagsalita na ang tao, may mga lider tayo, and me, wala na ako (The people have spoken, we have a leader, and me, I’m about to leave). I will say nothing,” he said.
He said it is wrong to “just plain criticize” the incoming administration that has barely started implementing any policies and programs.
“Ang ayaw ko, baka may maiwan pa, yung namumulitika pa rin (What I dislike is that there may be some left who continue politicking). Or you know, just plain criticize itong bagong administrasyon (this new administration). You do not do that,” he added.
Duterte also thanked Filipinos anew for supporting his six-year term as the country’s president.
“To the people of my country, it was a fruitful and productive journey with the help of people from all sectors who I thought early on who can help be build a better future for our children. Maraming maraming salamat sa inyong pagbigay ng tiwala sa akin (Thank you very much for the trust you have given me),” he said.
Duterte said his only aspiration is to step down leaving a better country for this generation and the generations to come through his various policies and programs, particularly his administration’s crackdown on criminality and illegal drugs.
“Kung may ano man ako, advocacy ko (If I would have any advocacy), it’s really to protect the next generation,” he said.
He said he looked forward to his retirement from politics, but noted that he will continue to talk should there be a “compelling need” to do so.
“If there is a compelling need for me to talk, I will do it. But my drift is just really to retire quietly. No more politics for me,” he added.