There was no VIP treatment when President Rodrigo Duterte went through regular security procedures at the Manila airport as he flew home, via a commercial flight, to Davao City late Thursday.
Just like regular passengers, Duterte passed through the X-ray and metal scanners at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, photos released by the Presidential Communications office showed.
The President was also seen greeting passengers as he walked to the boarding gate accompanied by his security detail.
Duterte took a premium economy seat onboard Philippine Airlines Flight PR 1825, which departed Manila past 10 p.m. This was not the first time a Philippine President flew commercial, but for domestic routes, this was unheard of.
Duterte laid down a policy of no special treatment for himself and his Cabinet upon taking over the presidency last June 30.
“We should not be treated differently from the other suffering Filipino passengers,” he told Cabinet secretaries in Malacañang.
The President is expected to attend the Hari Raya festival marking the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, at the SMX Convention Center in Davao City Friday evening.
There was no “tanim-bala” [bullet-planting scheme] either.
On Thursday, airport authorities announced that individuals found in possession of ammunition would no longer be arrested, to end the nefarious scheme that made a dent on the popularity of the previous Aquino administration.
Duterte brushed aside the reported terror threat by self-proclaimed followers of the Islamic State in Davao City, which was disclosed by his son Paolo, the acting city mayor, on Thursday.
“You don’t have to worry, you have your Vice President,” Duterte said in a response to a question from the government-run People’s Television Network.
“That is just a, that’s the story going around that they’re [terror groups]going to raise funds. The Armed Forces will not take it sitting down. The Philippine National Police, even if I’m gone, they will not allow these animals to have their day,” he added.