President Rodrigo R. Duterte was out of the public eye since he graced the opening of the Palarong Pambansa on April 28 to finish a backlog of paperwork, Malacañang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo shrugged off criticisms made by opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV that the President was “lazy” after Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat shared to media a photo of the chief executive watching “Django Unchained” on Netflix in his home in Davao City over the weekend.
Panelo defended the photo of Duterte watching television, emphasizing that Romulo-Puyat only released it to allay concerns that the President is sick.
“The only reason why pinakita niya yung picture na watching siya at saka nagbabasa ng diyaro at the same time, e para ma-ease yung concern na may sakit siya (she showed that picture of him watching and reading a newspaper at the same time to ease concerns that he’s sick),” Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
Although Duterte was seen resting in the photo, Panelo explained that the President opted to work from home since he had to finish worked piled up since he flew to Beijing, China to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation from April 25 to 27.
“You must remember that the President, in the Beijing trip, had a very punishing schedule. In fact, he had to miss one event because he had a migraine attack and after that he had to attend to several meetings and then when he arrived in Davao immediately there was this Paralong Pambansa,” Panelo said.
“Sa dami ng mga papeles na dapat niyang binasa, pipirmahan, natambakan, kaya (With the amount of paperwork he had to read and sign, it got piled up that’s why) he decided to stay in the house and work on them but after that trabaho na naman (he continued working),” he added.
Earlier, Panelo stressed that it was natural for people, including the President himself, to take a break and watch TV and that critics like Trillanes are better off ignored.
“Alam mo iyang si Trillanes eh hindi ko na pinapatulan ang kabalbalan niyan, parang hindi na nag-iisip kung magsalita iyan (You know Trillanes, we shouldn’t mind him, it’s as if he’s not thinking),” Panelo said in an interview dzBB on Sunday (May 5).
“As if hindi siya nagpapahinga; as if hindi siya natutulog; as if hindi siya nanunood ng TV (As if he doesn’t take a break; as if he doesn’t sleep; as if he doesn’t watch TV),” he added.
Panelo said Duterte, who has previously admitted suffering from Buerger’s disease from smoking, preferred to work at night.
He, meanwhile, assured anew that despite his “punishing schedule”, the President watches over his health for the sake of the country.
“He (Duterte) is in good health, otherwise he cannot be taking that kind of punishing schedule,” Panelo said.
The Presidential Spokesperson also said the President gets eight hours of sleep daily.
Meanwhile, Panelo said despite criticisms over Duterte’s work ethics, the recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey results show that the Duterte administration received the highest rating since the poll on national administrations was conducted in 1989.
The SWS’s 2019 first quarter survey, conducted from March 28 to 31, showed the administration got an overall rating six points above the very good +66 (76 percent satisfied, 9 percent dissatisfied) in December 2018, and two points above the previous record of excellent +70 in December 2017.
It’s “new record-high” net satisfaction rating reached +72, classified by SWS as “excellent.”
The survey also showed that at least 81 percent of adult Filipinos say they are satisfied with the present administration, with only 9 percent dissatisfied, and 10 percent who are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.
“Ibig sabihin, yung pamamaraan ng kaniyang pamamalakad sa paghawak ng poder ng kapangyarihan ay kontento ang ating mga kababayan at naa-appreciate nila ang mga ito (This means that people are contented and appreciate his way of running the government),” Panelo said. (PNA)
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