President Duterte intends to retire from public service after his six-year term in Malacañang.
In his remarks during his visit to Bacolod City last Sunday, the 71-year-old President said he was already old and good only for one term in the presidency.
Under the Constitution, the Philippine President has a single six-year term and is not eligible for re-election.
“I am only good for one term, then I go. This is my first and the last in the presidency. I’d like to serve everybody irrespective of party,” Duterte said during the opening ceremony of the Masskara Festival.
“This will be last fling with public service. I am old and after this, I am going to retire,” he added.
Prior to his landslide victory in the May presidential elections, Duterte served as mayor of Davao City for many years with a reputation of being tough on drug dealers and other criminals.
The President, meantime, seized the chance to talk about his campaign against drugs and corruption during his visit to Bacolod.
Duterte, who has promised a clean government, said the administration is “succeeding” in reducing corruption in the bureaucracy. He said corruption cannot be erased but the national government has become “clean” under his watch.
While he has no problem in the national government, Duterte said he would finalize a program to “enhance the delivery of public service” on the local level.
He said government transactions on permits and other clearances must be completed within three days. He said it was imperative to reduce red tape and other irregularities in the frontline services to lessen the burden of the public.
On fighting illegal drugs and crime, the President said the country has a serious drug problem especially with four million drug addicts. “This is not a joke,” he said.
He also lamented the presence of narco-politics following the alleged involvement of several government officials in the drug trade.
He continued to criticize Sen. Leila M. de Lima for being elected in office with the help of drug money. He clarified though that he did not accuse De Lima of any involvement in manufacturing and distribution of illegal drugs. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)