PRESIDENT Rody Duterte’s 15-minute inaugural address was a good and comforting speech.
For the benefit of those who did not bother to listen to him on the radio or watch him on TV—perhaps because they are too jaded to find any speech worth bothering about or because they still harbor a political grudge against him—we quote here some of the most important words he said yesterday.
No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.
It is the people from whom democratic governments draw strength and this administration is no exception. That is why we have to listen to the murmurings of the people, feel their pulse, supply their needs and fortify their faith and trust in us, whom they elected to public office. [applause]
Erosion of faith and trust in government—that is, the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier. [applause]
Indeed, ours is a problem that dampens the human spirit. But all is not lost.
As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the President. I know what is legal and what is not. [applause]
My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising. [applause] “Malasakit (empathetic caring)”; “Tunay na pagbabago; tinud-anay nga kausaban (real change)” [applause]—these are words which catapulted me to the presidency. These slogans were conceptualized not for the sole purpose of securing the votes of the electorate. “Tinud-anay nga kabag-uhan (real change). Mao kana ang tumong sa atong pang-gobyerno (That is the direction of our governance).” [applause]
These were battle cries articulated by me in behalf of the people hungry for genuine and meaningful change. But the change, if it is to be permanent and significant, must start with us and in us. [applause]
Love of country, subordination of personal interests to the common good, concern and care for the helpless and the impoverished—these are among the lost and faded values that we seek to recover and revitalize as we commence our journey toward a better Philippines.
[applause]The ride will be rough. But come and join me just the same. Together, shoulder to shoulder, let us take the first wobbly steps in this quest.
There are two quotations from revered figures that shall serve as the foundation upon which this administration shall be built.
“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt [applause]
And from (Abraham) Lincoln I draw this expression:
“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood of men by inciting class hatred among them.”
However, there are certain policies and specifics of which cannot wait for tomorrow to be announced.
Therefore, I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications [applause], from the submission to the release. I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to remove redundant requirements and [to follow the rule that]compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all. [applause]
I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to refrain from changing and bending the rules on government contracts, transactions and projects already approved and awaiting implementation. [applause]Changing the rules when the game is ongoing is wrong.
I abhor secrecy and instead advocate transparency [applause]in all government contracts, projects and business transactions from submission of proposals to negotiation to perfection and, finally, to consummation.