WHERE the President travels, whether inside or outside the country, for economic, health or leisure is the nation’s concern, irrespective whether he used public or his personal money, an Albay opposition lawmaker said.
“The President must appreciate rather than demean this concern,” Albay 1st district Rep. Edcel Lagman said.
Lagman explained that as the chief executive, Duterte is not an ordinary citizen, whose whereabouts must be fully transparent except for exigencies of security.
“The public is entitled to know or must be informed of the Head of State’s activities, which impact the peoples’ interest and welfare,” he said.
On Sunday, Aug. 16, speculations about Duterte’s whereabouts made rounds on social media when a photo of an ambulance jet with callsign VH-AND, which is operated by the Medical Aviation Services took off from Singapore and landed at around 4:00 PM Saturday in Davao City. It returned to Singapore 30 minutes after, but the identity of person it airlifted remained unknown.
However, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque denied the rumors.
“There’s no truth that President Rodrigo Roa Duterte left the country this weekend,” he said.
It was also reported that Duterte had a meeting with his Cabinet early last week in Davao City.
During his nationwide address on Monday, Aug. 17, the 75-year-old Duterte said that “A leader must always stay where the crisis is and not abandon his people during a time of need.” He gave his latest coronavirus briefing from Davao City.