FIVE months into the job, President Rodrigo Duterte says he’s unhappy and somehow regrets being elected Chief Executive.
Duterte was in familiar territory when he made the revelation Saturday night during a reunion with schoolmates from San Beda College of Law in Taguig City.
The former Davao City mayor, who used to roam the streets at night incognito, said he wasn’t fond of having too many security men tailing him wherever he went.
“Am I happy being President? No, I am not. [You ask me], ‘Do you regret [being President]?’ Yes, to a certain extent. Because my work is…I’m like a prisoner. There are the police, always behind me. At least two men follow me,” Duterte said.
Duterte took office at high noon on June 30. He has 67 months to go before his six-year term expires on June 30, 2022.
“Just give me a handcuff because it has the same effect. You don’t have freedom. You lose your private life entirely. I cannot talk to anybody, especially businessmen,” he said.
Duterte also admitted to having difficulty traveling abroad and talking to foreign investors.
“I find it so hard to go to other countries and appeal to the investors. I will blow your balls off. This is the Bedan President that you have. I have a mouth that is not really courteous. Well I’m sorry, but this is me. I can’t do anything about it,” he said.
No less than former president Fidel Ramos, who was at the San Beda reunion, had criticized Duterte for skipping the gala dinner of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Peru last November 20, which the President blamed on “jet lag.”
During the summits of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) in Vientiane, Laos in September, the President skipped the meetings of regional leaders with the US, India and the UN.
Palace spokesmen initially said migraine prevented the President from attending the Asean-US meeting. Duterte later admitted he skipped the Asean meeting with US President Barack Obama on purpose, because he was “anti-West.”