• Duterte wants ‘more time’ to surmount country’s problems


    PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte earlier said his birthday wish is to have “more time and [a]little [bit more]strength” to surmount the problems of the country.

    The Palace officials hoped that Duterte’s birthday wish would come true.

    “I wish that his dreams for a great Filipino nation all come true,” Abella said in a statement.

    “With all the responsibilities PRRD [President Rodrigo Roa Duterte] has right now, I wish him more time for himself and the small things in life that make him happy,” Presidential Communication Martin Andanar said in a separate statement.

    The president arrived Monday in Davao City and will return to Manila on Thursday.

    He was scheduled to meet government’s chief peace negotiator and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd and Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza in his presidential guesthouse in Panacan, Davao City, on Monday.

    The meeting came two days after the Communist Party of the Philippines announced that it would declare its unilateral ceasefire with the government before the end of March in anticipation and support of the resumption of peace negotiations in the Netherlands on April 2 – 6.

    Duterte had sought consultation on his possible reinstatement of ceasefire with the communists, citing concerns that its armed component New People’s Army might still attack government security forces.

    After his meeting with Bello and Dureza, the president will receive a courtesy visit from US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, and Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó.

    Also expected to pay a visit on Duterte are Agusan del Norte Gov. Angelica Amante-Matba and Mary Jane Locsin, wife of Frankie Locsin, mayor of Janiuay, Iloilo.

    Lastly, Duterte will also have a meeting with Nur Misuari, founding chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front.

    Duterte was initially set to meet Misuari last Friday, but Malacañang has said it was “tentatively set for this week or the coming week.”


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