MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte considers himself, along with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, and House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano as the “brightest stars” in Philippine politics today.
He, however, said this could change after the end of his term.
“Si Senator Bong, Speaker, we are the brightest stars today. Magtingin ka sa political na langit at makikita mo kami shining,” Duterte said in a speech during his visit to Taguig City Center for the Elderly. Go and Cayetano were also at the venue during the President’s visit.
“But I know that in about two years’ time, that light would dim and I would be nothing,” he added.
“Ganun ang buhay. There is a time for everything in this world,” the President noted.
From being a relative outsider in Philippine national politics, the former Davao City mayor rocked the boat when he won the May 2016 presidential race after much dilly-dallying about running. He ran on a campaign to curb criminality and corruption in three to six months— issues which the Duterte government continues to address until today.
Go, meanwhile, served as Duterte’s aide for over two decades, before clinching a seat in the Senate last May.
Cayetano, who was Duterte’s former foreign secretary, was elected House Speaker last July, under a power-sharing agreement with Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Velasco.
Duterte reiterated that the presidency is “a gift from God”, despite a previous statement questioning God’s existence.
“The more you covet for it, mas hindi ibigay ng Diyos. Hayaan mo lang. Kung ano lang ibigay. At what are your expectations? None. I leave it to God. He’s everything,” he said, noting that he learned to read the Bible from his mother.