HE never thought it was a joke.
Carlo Montehermozo, the fisherman who asked then Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte during the presidential debate last 2016 about his stand on the West Philippine Sea, said on Wednesday that he and his fellow fishers resented the Philippine leader's declaration that his promise to ride a jet ski to Scarborough Shoal was "a joke".
Montehermozo, who hails from Infanta, Pangasinan, admitted he and his fellow fishermen voted for Duterte after his strong remarks about the Philippines' claim in the Scarborough Shoal or locally called the Panatag Shoal.
Montehermozo said that he was happy to hear Duterte's campaign promise to protect the Philippines' sovereign rights by riding a jetski and planting the Philippine flag at the common fishing ground.
But earlier this week, the President, in one of his late night speeches, said he was only joking and called those who believed him "stupid".
"Masama ang loob namin, siyempre. 'Yun ang sinabi niya na gagawin niya, bakit niya yun sinabi (We feel bad of course. That's what he said, why would he even say that)," Montehermozo said in an interview over TeleRadyo.
"Joke, joke lang din siya na Presidente natin (He is also a joke as our president)," he said
Montehermozo also narrated how his fellow fishermen, including those who have not been to Scarborough Shoal, said the President had become forgetful.
In less than a year, Filipinos will elect another leader to replace Duterte.
Rumors have swirled that Duterte's daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and his long-time close aide now Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go would seek the presidency.
Asked if he will vote for another Duterte, Montehermozo said in Filipino: "Maybe another candidate, another president."
"Kapag Duterte, ganoon pa rin. Kung anong puno, 'yun ang bunga ng mangga (If I will vote for another Duterte, it would be the same. The mango fruit doesn't fall far from the tree)," he added.
He also expressed apprehension about voting for Go, a staunch ally of Duterte and his family, being a long-time aide before being elected as a legislator in the Senate.
"Ewan ko lang...kaaliyado ni Duterte 'yan (I don't know, he is an ally of Duterte)," Montehermozo said.