MANILA, Philippines – While President Rodrigo Duterte has strongly urged people to stay at home in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that he understands the violators’ feelings as he himself was restricted from traveling to Davao City by its incumbent mayor.
Duterte revealed during his Thursday night address that her daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, did not allow any planes to land in his hometown when he tried to be present during the birthday of his relatives, including that of partner Honeylet Avanceña.
Recently, higher volume of vehicles and crowding within markets were reported even if the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) all over Luzon is still in effect.
“Alam ko na sabik na sabik na kayo, para kayong tiga-Bilibid, lahat tayo pati ako, hindi na nga ako maka-uwi sa Davao, birthday ng apo ko, birthday ‘nong partner ko, birthday ng anak ko di ako maka-uwi,” the Chief Executive said.
(I know that you have been yearning to go out, it’s like being jailed, all of us including me, I cannot even go home to Davao even if it’s the birthday of my grandchild, my partner, and even of my child, I cannot go home.)
“Bakit? Hindi ako pinapayagan ng mayor doon na maka-punta, walang eroplano na may pasahero ang maka-landing sa Davao City, pinagbabawal ng mayor doon. Eh kung sang ayon ba yan sa instruction ko, o rights of the people to travel, e malaking debate na ‘yan. At saka ayaw kong makipag-quarrel with anybody, especially the mayor of Davao City na anak ko,” he added.
(Why? I was not allowed by the mayor there to visit, no airplane with passengers are allowed to land in Davao City, the mayor there has disallowed it. If that is in accordance with my instruction, or the rights of people to travel, that will be a big debate. I don’t want to quarrel with anybody, especially the mayor of Davao City who is also my daughter.)
According to President Duterte, this instruction from his daughter was relayed to long-time aide and now Senator Bong Go. He admits being hurt with Duterte-Carpio’s decision, but assures that he understands his daughter’s decision.
“Ako mismo, tatlong birthday, ang masakit sa akin kasi ang nagbawal mag-land, ang anak ko. So sa panahong ito, kung ano ‘yong pinapa-iral nila na batas, wala akong magawa kasi I also try to protect the people of Davao City, it might be a very noble gesture but it can sometimes be cruel,” Duterte noted.
(I myself, missed the three birthdays, what’s painful is that the person who barred me is my own child. So in these times, the laws that they enforce, I cannot do anything about it because I also try to protect the people of Davao City, it might be a very noble gesture but it can sometimes be cruel.)
Last March 28, President Duterte also celebrated his birthday isolated from his family, as he was in under a self-quarantine after some officials who attended cabinet meetings tested positive for the coronavirus, and to prevent the highest official from contracting the disease.
While the national government has placed the ECQ all over Luzon due to the rising COVID-19 cases, other cities outside Luzon like Davao have also placed travel restrictions to prevent an outbreak.
Just a few days ago, Davao City extended the ECQ over the city until April 26. As of April 9, there are 66 COVID-19 cases within the city’s administrative districts.
Nationwide, Department of Health said that there are now 5,660 COVID-19 patients, 362 of which have died while at least 435 recovered from the disease. Worldwide, over 2.06 million individuals have been infected, while 134,216 have died from the disease and 513,820 have recovered from it.
Edited by JPV
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