President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday, March 21, extended his invitation to political and social leaders who want to join his administration’s agenda, as he underscored that even those from the other side of the political fence could be accepted as long as they are pro-development.
“Kalimutan natin ‘yung mga partido-partido. Partnership na lang tayo,” President Duterte said in his speech at the oath taking of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) Leaders and National Summit held at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
The MRRD -NECC is a volunteer organization that helped him win the presidency during the last election.
“Kasi kung mag-ano tayo walang mangyari eh… Tulungan na lang tayo,” Duterte said.
The President meanwhile said that a draft of the memorandum of understanding with Kuwait is already being negotiated.
The Philippine government is seeking for the better treatment of Filipino workers in Kuwait, such as non-confiscation of passports, provision of adequate sleep and food as well as rest days.
“Kaya ako sinisikap ko ang bayan ko aangat para naman ho… not really rich but an opportunity to work here at dito naman maski ganun lang tayo, hindi talaga ako papayag na ganunin sila. Never. Hindi ako papayag,” he said.
“Ang una kong condition is ang passport ng Pilipino huwag kunin ng kanyang empleyado. Hostage ‘yan eh,” Duterte said.
“Second, that they must be guaranteed sleep. Kita mo dito. Kasi mag-trabaho siya sa amo niya, tapos mag-trabaho siya doon sa in-laws. Mag-trabaho pa doon sa son-in-law doon sa kumare niya. Kaya it is a constant figure ang tulog nila three to four hours,” he said.
“Sabi ko, ‘yan guaranteed seven hours; no confiscation of passport; they must have a day off where they can go to church… If he’s a Muslim, then you allow her to go to the mosque. A Christian, allow her to… for him to go to church. Tapos sabi ko, ang pagkain nila, they are allowed to cook their own food, ” he added.
The President meanwhile said the government is already reaping gains in its drive against illegal drugs corruption and criminality.
In the fight against corruption, the President said he fired several officials accused of graft.
“Una sinabi ko, pag nanalo ako ayaw ko talaga ng graft and corruption. Magprangkahan tayo. Ayaw ko talaga ‘yan kaya lahat nasabit diyan halos kalahati na kasama ko pa sa kampanya,” he said.
He also warned western countries to keep out of the country’s domestic affairs.
President Duterte likewise stressed the sincerity of his government to talk peace, particularly in Mindanao.
He reiterated however that for now, peace talks with the communists are on hold, noting that he cannot compromise the country’s sovereignty.
As for the rebels who want to surrender, he said that his government will welcome them.
President Duterte also announced that he will fly to Sulu soon to see how the government can persuade the Abu Sayyaf members to lay down their arms.
Expressing his gratitude to those who helped him win, the President recognized the efforts and sacrifices of the MRRD-NECC members.
With more than two million volunteers, the MRRD-NECC is composed of ordinary Filipinos around the country clamoring to change the country’s system of government.
MRRD-NECC originally started with the group called Marco Polo 15 that envisioned a drug-, corruption- and criminality-free Philippines. It also pushed for the adoption of a federal form of government.
MRRD-NECC chapters around the country and abroad have embarked on a massive information campaign on federalism, and against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. It supports a federal-parliamentary form of government through constitutional convention. PND