Australian businessman Peter Wallace commended President Rodrigo Duterte for accomplishing some of his campaign promises such as stamping out drug menace and eradicating corruption during his 100 days in office.
Speaking at a press briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, October 5, Wallace praised the government for the “remarkable change” happening in the country since Duterte took office on June 30.
“I’ve been studying this man for quite some time. I’ve known him for quite some time. This is a man who genuinely cares for this country and genuinely cares for its people. And what I particularly like, he cares for what really matters like in the provinces where we have the poorest of the poor and the people suffering the most,” said Wallace, founder of the Wallace Business Forum.
Wallace is a known businessman who has lived in the country for four decades. He has been granted Philippine citizenship considering his contributions to local business community and his various socio-civic advocacies.
Wallace particularly hailed Duterte’s signing of an executive order for the implementation of the Freedom of Information, which he said should have been done a long time ago.
He likewise expressed support for Duterte’s economic team led by Finance Secretary Carlos “Sonny” Dominguez III and the 10-point economic agenda.
Wallace also defended the President’s “radical” style of ruling the country giving his two cents in the way Duterte is being portrayed in the media.
He noted that some social ills such as drugs and criminality have prompted the President to use offensive language.
“He’s angry and he’s frustrated and he takes this out by swearing, which is not terribly abnormal in the society that he is mixed in. But it is difficult for particularly foreigners to understand,” he said.
“And what happens unfortunately is too often what he says is taken literally rather than interpreting what he actually meant. Because if you do that, you find that most of the swearing is just top of the head type of stuff, that doesn’t have any real importance to it, that isn’t the real intent. It’s underlying that behind that really matters. And what’s underlying behind that is that he wants change and he wants to get things done,” he added.
Wallace likewise believes the President is not severing ties with the United States despite his recent pronouncement of establishing economic ties with Russia and China.
“He’s trying I think to establish that the Philippines is a truly independent country. It is no longer a colony of the US. It is no longer subservient in any way to the US. It wants its independence and in a fairly dramatic way that he’s trying to put that across, right? Now, it’s an unusual way,” he said.
For his part, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the President’s statement might not necessarily mean breaking up of alliances with other countries.
“He is not closing. He is broadening,” Secretary Abella said adding that there was still no move to end ties with US.