PRESIDENT-elect Rodrigo Duterte wants “no change” in the way he is addressed, asking the public to continue calling him “mayor.”
In a televised news conference in the southern Philippine city of Davao, where he is the mayor, on Monday, Duterte said he is not comfortable with being addressed as “President.”
“Hindi naman ako nagpapa-corny, pero I feel very awkward hearing the word ‘President.’ In the first place, it is not yet time and I have to get used in being the top honcho of the Philippines,” Duterte told reporters.
“I am just a worker in the government… There is no reason to give too much adulation sa akin. I do not want that kind of rapport with the Filipino people,” he added.
Duterte also discouraged his supporters from forming fanatic “cults” dedicated to him, and treating him with excessive admiration.
“It doesn’t fit into my paradigm in life… I’ve been in the government for 22 years and I’m always been the servant of the people,” he said.
Duterte told reporters that he prefers that nobody pay attention to his presence.
“Do not do that [bowing of head]because this is a democracy. This is not a royalty. Nobody occupies a special space. Even if I am your President, I would just consider me equal to you in terms of rights and responsibilities,” he said.
“But there are things in this government that I had to do because I was the only one who could do it,” Duterte added.
Duterte, who will become the Philippines’ 16th President by June 30, has been given several nicknames, including “Digong,” “DU30” and “Rody.”
Nicknames of Presidents include “PNoy” for Benigno Aquino 3rd, “Erap” for Joseph Estrada, “GMA” for Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and “FVR” for Fidel V. Ramos. CATHERINE S. VALENTE