MANILA - Addressing the nation for the first time as Chief Executive, President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday appealed to Filipinos to join him in the difficult crusade of bringing about genuine change.
Duterte said that his battlecry "change is coming" is not just a campaign slogan, but the driving force of his government.
But he said that if change is to be permanent and significant, it "must start from us and in us."
Quoting national artist for literature F. Sionil Jose, Duterte said, "We have become our worst enemies and we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves."
"Love of country, subordination of personal interest for the common good, concern and care for the helpless and impoverished -- these are among the laws and faded values that we'll seek to recover and revitalize as we commence our journey towards a better Philippines," he said to loud applause.
"The ride will be rough but have the courage and join me just the same. Together, shoulder to shoulder, let us take the first wobbly steps in this quest."
Duterte is the 16th President of the Philippines and is the first Mindanaoan to head the country.