MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday will visit areas that erstwhile super typhoon Rolly ravaged over the weekend, an ally said, after criticism that the Chief Executive was not visible during the disaster response.
"Ayaw po ni Pangulo na makaistorbo sa mga government workers natin, armed forces sa kanilang recovery operation so pupunta po siya soon sa mga hardest hit area nang siya lang po," said Sen. Bong Go, Duterte's former aide.
(The President does not want to disturb government workers, the armed forces in their recovery operation so he will go to hardest hit areas by himself.)
Among the areas that Duterte will visit is Legazpi, Albay, the lawmaker said in a Laging Handa public briefing. The strongest typhoon of the year made the second of its 4 landfalls over neighboring Tiwi, Albay early Sunday.
Duterte will fly back to Manila from Davao on Monday, added his spokesman Harry Roque.
"En route to Manila he will be conducting an aerial inspection in Bicolandia and Calabarzon," Roque said in a statement.
On Sunday, Cabinet officials held a briefing on the typhoon, which Duterte, who was then in Davao City, failed to attend. The hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo (where is the President?) trended after his no-show.
Duterte is working "24/7" to ensure that government agencies are ready for the disaster, said Go.
"Hindi ibig sabihin nasa Mindanao po ang Pangulo e hindi siya nagtatrabaho," he said.
(Not because the President is in Mindanao means that he is not working.)
After his aerial inspection of typhoon-battered areas, Duterte will meet with his Cabinet, said Go.
The President may also deliver a public address "depending on whether or not they can fly back to Manila," said Roque.