‘Gusto kong lumangoy’: Duterte says PSG preventing him from visiting typhoon-hit areas
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday bared that he was being prevented by the Presidential Security Group (PSG) from going out and visiting areas affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.
Duterte issued the statement after #NasaanAngPangulo (Where is the President) trended on social media on Thursday morning amid strong winds and rains in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon.
“Binabawalan ako ng ng nagbabantay sa akin: PSG, lahat, doktor. Hindi ako makalabas. Sabi ko naman gusto kong magpakita sa tao, ang sabi nila bantayan yung pagkatao ko. Kasi ako yung Presidente,” Duterte said.
The President said if he would have his way, he would “swim” into the floods just to visit Filipinos affected by the typhoon, some of whom had barely recovered from the recent onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly early this month.
“Gusto kong lumabas, gusto kong lumangoy; matagal na akong hindi naligo eh. Kaya lang, ayaw nitong mga sundalo. Sila ang ayaw maligo, ibig sabihin,” Duterte said.
“Ganun ho ang sitwasyon. It’s not that I am at a distance with you, gusto kong pumunta doon makipaglangoy nga sa inyo. Ang problema pinipigilan nga ako kasi raw ‘pag namatay ako, isa lang ang Presidente,” he added.
#NasaanAngPangulo first became a trending topic online earlier this month after the President missed the first high-level public briefing on Super Typhoon Rolly, said to be the world’s strongest storm this year.
Typhoon Ulysses brought severe flooding in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon which some officials said is comparable to the onslaught of Ondoy in September 2009.
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