Duterte also explains why he was wearing black suspenders beneath his barong
By Raïssa Robles
To get the full Duterte flavor of this sudden change of heart, I am sharing a portion of the press briefing below, which took place early this morning before dawn at the Davao City International Airport :
Q: Hi sir. Welcome back sir. Sir, I think it’s safe to assume now, na hindi po kayo galit sa amin after what happened ‘nong before po kayo umalis. But for the record sir, galit po ba kayo sa amin sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Galit kanino?
Q: Sa amin sir. Sa media. Because of what happened doon sa remarks. And for the record din sir, do you think–?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sabi ko nga, tanggalin niyo ‘yang escalator, palakarin ninyo ‘yan doon sa likod. Sila lahat. Karga-karga nila…
Of course I am not at liberty to be angry at anybody. It is your sworn duty to ask questions. It is also my obligation to the people for the money spent [inaudible] and for all of the… You know things that would cost the Filipino, I have to make an official report, not now, but initially, these are the things that I can say. Wala akong galit sa inyo.
Alam mo, I never, I was here… You were here. I never attribute any statement to anybody. I was complaining about the situation but I never directed any statement that was insulting or otherwise not good.
Si Ed Lingao, he was the anchor at that time, when there was this breaking news. And he apologized and I accept his apology. And he should not worry because sometimes you commit errors. Wala akong question diyan.
If the other side, interpreted it in a way they wanted it, problema nila ‘yan. I mean that’s… After all, I am not a player of the international community. I said only answer to the Filipino people. I am… I’m not… I do not aspire to be a [inaudible]. But you know very well, I never said it, attributing it to anybody. I said, I remembered: “‘Wag ninyong Gawain sa akin ‘yan, magka-insultuhan tayo.”
I never mentioned any particular… So I hope they realize it by now and let me again: In our relations to the world – this is for the third time – the Philippines shall pursue an independent foreign policy. And we will observe, and I must insist, on the time-honored principles of sovereignty, sovereign equality, non-interference, and committed to the peaceful settlement of disputes.
I do not answer– Maybe to the press for information. But I do not have an obligation to please everybody or to please one person. But if you’re a Filipino, I am at your service because I work for you. I receive my keep for the day from the pocket of the people.
Pero kung sabihin mo na I have this, I have to explain. And that is why it went well. Nauna ako. So I raised the ante, immediately I am. That’s my character.
“Ikaw, may gusto kang sabihin sa akin? Okay. Here’s my card.” Ganon ako, maski sa politika. Tinatapon ko agad baraha ko. [inaudible] “Ano gusto mo?” Ganon ako sa politika. Bakit? Baka i-divert na naman niyo doon sa… ‘Yung akin, sa loob ko lang, sa isipi ko. “O anong gusto mo? Ito ‘yung baraha ko. Hawak ko ‘yung alas. Ayan o. Ano gusto mong sabihin?”
Hindi ko ginagawa ‘yan. But if I’m sure that it is the way how it should develop. Then it brings the worst in me or it brings out the best of me. Depende kung saan. I’m sure that if you’re a Filipino, you’d be proud of me.
Well of course for the, the low life, sa press, ‘yung mga kolumnista, nothing is really too good to be true. Hayaan mo ‘yan sila. And I said, I leave you with that problem. But I said, I have always in mind the dignity, not me personally, you can destroy me, you can attack me, criticize me. But when it comes to the—Hindi lang kasi nila inisip itong mga low life dito that what is really at stake is the country.
Kaya ako, when it comes to, ‘yung mga moments of ano, it is where I really do not know the best or the worst in me. Pero, hindi kayo napahiya. I assure you. And everybody was clapping except for dalawa. But bilib sila sa akin [inaudible].
Si… si President Widodo. It’s… shaking with joy that I decided to just talk with sense and the truth.
Q: Sir sino po ‘yung dalawa sir… na hindi pumalakpak sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Nakalimutan ko. Let me recall the seating arrangement. Baka umihi… [laughter] Bakante adre. Baka sa washroom.
Q: Sir, follow-up lang. Referring to the incident sir, sa tingin niyo po sir, with that incident, sino po ‘yung maaring nagkamali? Not to point fingers sir ‘no, was it the sender, the source, or the receiver sir?
PRESIDENT DUTERTE: You know people commit mistakes. Some with malice, some without malice. If it’s just a mere shortfall of talent, hayaan mo na.
But I appreciate the apology of Lingao. I said I accept it and Ed, I salute you. But do not hesitate to attack me, criticize me, if I do wrong in my job. It is your duty to your country. As I have my duty to the people to serve you.
Kaya ‘wag kayong ano… If I do not feel talking to you then sorry. I’m not in the mood because you committed a mistake. But I would like to presume that you did it without malice. Kasi trabaho eh. And I would just say… [applause]. ‘Yung mga camera diyan, kayong kumukuha diyan, ‘di ka nagpalakpak. Palakpak kayo diyan. [applause]
You know why? Because it is a recorded history. Everyday that you pressed that ‘on’ button in your camera, you record the history of this country. Kaya importante kayo, baka minamaliit ninyo ‘yung role ninyo sa, in the entire gamut of media.
You are recording the history of this country. Someday, pag-on nila nang ganon, tapos walang lumabas na blur, ay anak ka ng… Natulog siguro ‘yung gago doon sa ano…
Pero with an accurate and true representation of what’s going on, I said, saludo ako. And because, it is embodied in the Constitution. The freedom of the people to be informed and a media that is there to find out the true and accurate. You portray history.
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President Duterte ended his short press conference by talking about clothes.
He explained how he had wanted to look presentable for the Filipino people. So he bought himself a suit off-the-rack to wear to the ASEAN forum.
But the pants were too loose and were in danger of falling.
So he bought some black suspenders:
That’s why I tried my very best to look presentable there. Nagbili pa ako ready-made na suit. Maluwang masyado. Kaya nagbili ako ng suspender. Mahulog man. Tapos, nagkamali naman ako. Pumayat ata ako. Sa mahulog, sabi ko na… Suspender lang ako. Kasi pag-ganon ko, paglakad ko, hanggang dito na… Bili ka ng suspender. Parang gusto ko na. That’s how I… Hindi ako nagpapatahi nang mahal. ‘Yung ready… Indonesian size. Okay na. Lagyan nila ng kurbata. Hindi rin ako marunong. Si… itong… “Sir ako na…” Nakalimutan ko na ‘yung… Puta, baka ma-ganon ko pa. [laughter] Hang yourself.
When I first looked at some photos of Duterte, I was wondering whether he was indeed wearing suspenders. But I concluded that I was only mistaking the suspenders for a design on the barong because I had never seen suspenders worn beneath a barong before.
Duterte may have unwittingly set off a male fashion trend of wearing suspenders with a barong.