MANILA – After months of being cooped up inside Malacañang and a few weeks in Davao City, President Rodrigo Duterte will soon resume visiting military camps across the country.
Duterte, who is now 75-years-old, recognized the need to take extra precautions amid the continuous threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
“In the coming days I intend to go around the country. Magbisita ako. Magbisita pa ako ng kampo ng mga military (I will visit military camps). So I’ll just have to take precautions,” he said in a public address late Monday night.
Duterte is known to go around the country and visit military camps to talk to soldiers and extend financial assistance and other forms of aid.
He expressed exasperation over having to stay indoors but accepted the need to follow government protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
“If there is anybody who wants to be out to enjoy and even to live life normally, ako. Ako ‘yung ayaw talaga sa itong lockdown-lockdown (that would be me. I’m the one who really dislikes having to impose a lockdown). I hate it. I do not want even myself. Pero ang sabi ko sa inyo, kung kayo hindi makatiis at tinamaan kayo, sorry na lang (But I told you, if you cannot bear it and you get infected, all I can say is sorry),” he said.
After imposing the enhanced community quarantine last March, Duterte decided to isolate himself at Malacañang Palace in Manila following the recommendation of his doctors and the Presidential Security Group.
He spent his 75th birthday in Manila for the first time on March 28 since he usually celebrates his birthday with his family at his official residence in Davao City.
Once quarantine restrictions eased, he visited his hometown and even held a meeting there with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Last week, the Philippine Navy announced that the President was invited to attend the christening and commissioning of BRP Jose Rizal, the country’s first missile-frigate, which was originally scheduled on the national hero’s birthday on June 19 but was moved to a later date.
The Navy has two large missile-armed warships so far in its fleet. The second frigate, the BRP Antonio Luna, is expected to be delivered late this year. (PNA)