President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he is set to leave Malacañan Palace by March, months before his term ends in June this year.
Duterte expressed this during his recorded talk to the people on Monday, February 7.
“So nag-iimpake na nga ako eh. Iyong iba pinadala ko na sa —
‘yung madala sa — ‘yung madala sa barko, binarko ko. The small things ‘yung mga, ‘yung mga tokens, mga ano, mga bronze na… Iyon ang inuna ko ‘yung mga mabigat,” he said.
Duterte, who previously eyed a Senate seat before he withdrew his candidacy last December, expressed readiness to welcome a new chief executive.
“I await the day of turnover. Matikman ko rin ‘yung feeling ng outgoing president. I will be the one to meet the new president, then I will invite him here for a tete-a-tete,” he said.
The chief executive then announced that he plan to get out of the Palace, his residence during his presidency, as early as March or April.
“Nag-iimpake na po ako. In a little over three months, ‘yung excess wala na ‘yun. So I should be out by — by March. Hindi ko na paabutin ng Abril. Hindi na ako matutulog rin dito. Kung saan ako dalhin ng Panginoong Diyos, mag-practice na ako tulog doon,” the president said.
Duterte assured the public that he will still report to work until his term ends in June.
“Magpunta na lang ako dito for a day-to-day trabaho and what’s left of the things that we have to work on,” he said.
According to Section 4, Article VII of the Constitution, the terms of the President and the Vice President shall start and end at the 30th day of June following the elections.
“The President and the Vice-President shall be elected by direct vote of the people for a term of six years which shall begin at noon on the thirtieth day of June next following the day of the election and shall end at noon of the same date six years thereafter,” the Constitution reads.
Several Filipinos expressed their gratitude for Duterte, who they address as “Tatay Digong,” for the work he had done in the past six years.
“God bless po Mr. President nagawa mo naman ang dapat mong gawin. Kaya proud kami sa yo Tatay Digz,” one Facebook user said.
“Salamat Mr. President sa nagawa niyo sa Pilipinas,” another Facebook user commented.
Some online users, on the other hand, reminded Duterte that he is still paid to work until June.
Republic Act 11466 dictating government workers’ salaries suggests that the president has been earning P423,723 a month since January this year, up from P415,728 a month last year.
“Uy dapat wala ka nang sweldo, ‘di ka na pala papasok eh,” a Twitter user said.
“Wag ganun, Digs. Bayad ka pa ata hanggang June e. Buti kung hindi na. Tapusin mo kontrata haha,” another Twitter user wrote.
Other online users also showed concern about how much it would cost the president to go to Malacañang every day.
“Aalis ka na nga lang dyan tapos gagastos ka pa? Kung pabalik balik ka ng Davao at Malacañang sa tingin mo di yan magastos?” a Twitter user asked.
Some Reddit users also brought up the International Criminal Court’s investigation into the administration’s drug war.
“Ready to hide from the ICC,” a Reddit user said.
On November 18, the ICC suspended its probe following a request for deferral from the national government.