LAGUINDINGAN, Misamis Oriental – President Rodrigo Duterte has reiterated he will not go beyond his six-year mandate, assuring his critics that he may even step down before his term ends in 2022.
“On the last day of my term, or earlier than that, I’ll step down,” Duterte said in his speech during an event at the Laguindingan Airport here on Friday evening (October 20).
Duterte graced the Gokongwei-owned Cebu Pacific’s launch of Cagayan de Oro as its seventh domestic hub in the country.
Duterte said that when he served as the mayor of Davao City for several terms, “there was never an instance on any of my terms that I exceeded one day or 24 hours in my office.
He also said he has no plan to stay in power as a dictator, saying it is not in his nature to be one.
“I mean, I will serve during my time. If you say that I desire [to be a dictator], you must be crazy,” Duterte added. Duterte also took a stab at the “yellow” or the Liberal Party (LP) whose members, he said, have been sowing intrigues against him.
“These are just people who cannot accept defeat. They have spread intrigues against me, in the military. I told them [military], you can oust me now if you want but I will never do that,” he said.
Duterte also heaped praises on the Gokongweis for their contribution to the air travel industry.
“Despite the current situation in Marawi City, Cebu Pacific has seen the promise of what Mindanao can become in the coming years. It is my hope that its officials and employees will become our partners in effecting meaningful and lasting changes in society,” he said in his speech.
Duterte also enjoined the country’s business sector “to make the Philippines a progressive community filled with opportunities for the next generation. Together, let us realize our vision of a safer and comfortable life.”
During the event, Cebu Pacific formally declared Cagayan de Oro as its seventh domestic hub as it launched two new routes that link Northern Mindanao to Caticlan (Boracay) and Dumaguete City.
“What was originally the fourth destination launched back in 1996, is now a hub. It follows the path of Manila, Cebu and Iloilo, also hubs,” said Lance Gokongwei, Cebu Pacific President and Chief Executive Officer, in his statement.
“Today is a testament to our long-standing commitment to contribute to nation-building, and make air travel more accessible to Filipinos. We look forward to the effect our low fares and direct flights will have on Northern Mindanao,” Gokongwei added.
The Laguindingan Airport is the most important air-travel facility in the region, and currently has a 7,200 square-meter passenger terminal and a 2,100-meter runway, capable of four takeoffs and landings per hour. Since it opened in 2013, the airport has become the sixth busiest in the country, serving over 1.7 million passengers per year. PNA/Jigger J. Jerusalem