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STUBBORN WEED’ | Trillanes expects Duterte to stay on

President Rodrigo Duterte is to mark his first anniversary in office next week. The folk in Malacañang, however, said it felt much longer than that, with everything that’s happened since last year. Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said: “It feels like three years already, right? Considering the amount of work we’ve done, considering the challenges and all the matters that have been addressed.”

The crisis in Marawi is the latest and seemingly most difficult to grapple with.

Five weeks in, the military still has to clear the city of the remnants of Islamist extremists,
and the sudden disappearing act in the previous week by President Duterte did not help clear the fog.

The Palace insisted that Duterte just needed to rest.

Spokesman Abella even seemed to take a dig at Duterte’s predecessor, Benigno Aquino III, by alluding to “other persons who take up the Playstation, whatever.”

For one of the president’s more vocal critics, Senator Antonio Trillanes, the Duterte track record is strewn with failure to live up to his promises and pledges, including solving Metro Manila’s traffic problems and winning the peace in the South: “This administration: Epic fail. On all fronts.”

And, amid the recent questions over Duterte’s health, Trillanes likened the president to the stereotypical Filipino cultural concept of the tenacious shoddy weed.

“May kasabihan, eh, ung masamang damo hindi agad namamatay (There is a saying, stubborn weeds don’t die easy),” Trillanes quipped. Whatever else may be said, however, it’s certain that Duterte remains as popular as ever.

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