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Duterte takes ordinary flight back to Davao

Notwithstanding reports that Davao City is under threat from the jihadist militant group ISIS, President Duterte took an ordinary commercial flight back to his hometown Davao City for the Hariraya Festival Thursday.

The President boarded Philippine Airlines Flight PR1825 that departed Manila at 9 p.m. and arrived in Davao City at approximately 10:45 p.m.

Photos released by the Presidential Communications Office showed Duterte going through routine security checks like any ordinary passenger at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2.

Duterte, who took a premium security seat, was also shown greeting and shaking hands with other passengers. It was his first commercial flight as president.

In May, after claiming victory in the presidential elections, Duterte expressed his plan do away with military aircraft specially assigned for the Philippine President as he will travel using commercial plane.

And on their first official Cabinet meeting following his inauguration as President, Duterte enjoined his Cabinet members to shun priority treatment at airports and treat themselves as ordinary Filipinos.

Duterte was scheduled to attend the Mindanao Hariraya Eid’l Fit’r 2016 at the SMX Convention Center yesterday afternoon in Davao City.

He travelled to Davao City despite reports that the ISIS has targeted the hometown of the President, prompting the city government to beef up its security.

In a press interview in Malacañang, the President was asked if he is confident with his security. He replied: “I’m confident that God will decide everything.”

Duterte added, “If God does not want me to die, I will not die. But if God wants me out of the scene, I will be gone.

So, ba-bye na lang.”

Police and the military have been alerted following reports on ISIS militants’ alleged plan to attack the southern Mindanao city.

The military, however, said that intelligence reports on the alleged ISIS plot did not come from them nor the police.

“Per verification…the info did not come from the AFP or the Philippine National Police. It could come from another source that we are not aware of,” said AFP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Restituto Padilla. (ELENA L. ABEN)