President Rodrigo Duterte says he wanted to go out and visit areas affected by Typhoon Ulysses but the Presidential Security Group (PSG) prevented him.
After the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo (Where is the President?) trended on social media on Thursday morning amid the rampage of Typhoon Ulysses, President Duterte said he was being prevented by the PSG to go out and visit the affected areas.
In the statement, he said: “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.”
(I’m being prohibited by those guarding me: PSG, doctors, all. I can’t go out. I said I wanted to show myself to the people, they said I should take care of myself. Because I am the president.)
Duterte claimed that if it was up to him, he would swim into the floods to visit those affected by the typhoon, some of whom were also previously hit by Super Typhoon Rolly earlier this month.
The president added: “Gusto kong lumabas, gusto kong lumangoy; matagal na akong hindi naligo eh. Kaya lang, ayaw nitong mga sundalo. Sila ang ayaw maligo, ibig sabihin.”
(I want to go out, I want to swim; it’s been too long since I had a bath. However, these soldiers don’t want me to. It means they’re the ones who don’t want to take a bath.)
“Ganun ho ang sitwasyon (That is the situation). It’s not that I am at a distance with you, gusto kong pumunta doon makipaglangoy nga sa inyo (I want to go there and swim with you). Ang problema pinipigilan nga ako kasi raw ‘pag namatay ako, isa lang ang Presidente (The problem is, they are preventing me because if I die, there is only one president),” he continued.
The hashtag originally became a trending topic online following the president’s absence during the first high-level public briefing on Super Typhoon Rolly.