MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte made good on his promise to open a direct line to the general public with the airing of the first episode of his "Mula sa Masa, Para sa Masa" (From the masses, For the masses) television program on government channel PTV4 on Friday, May 19.
The public service program, hosted by veteran TV reporter Rocky Ignacio, enabled the President to convey his position on burning issues of the day. The hour-long program was also watched by an impressive number of online audience.
During the program, President Duterte commented on a number of issues.
For one, he expressed confidence in retired general Roy Cimatu and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who have taken the helm of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Department of Foreign Affairs, respectively.
The President described Cimatu as “a silent guy, (with a) very low-key personality but he does his work very well”.
“I know Cimatu, he is honest, hardworking. He is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy,” President Duterte said. “The quality that had always been my requirement sa mga (in my) cabinet members is that you serve with honesty and integrity.”
During the program, the chief executive also allayed public fears arising from the recent pipe bomb attacks in Quiapo in downtown Manila.
“But certainly it is not an ISIS thing. One is that kung ISIS yan, di puputok sa Quiapo yan (if it was initiated by the ISIS, they would not have chosen Quiapo). It could be somewhere else but definitely not Quiapo. Karamihan nakatira dyan, kapatid natin na Moro (Most residents of Quiapo are our Moro brothers),” Duterte pointed out.
“If it is ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), I do not think it would start there or initiated in that place. Let's put things in the proper perspective.”
President Duterte also emphasized his administration’s commitment to work closely with its international neighbors for progress and to ensure political stability in the region. (PNA)