President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivered his first speech as the 16th president of the Philippines, and what strike us most among the many statements he delivered is the line "I was elected to the presidency to serve the entire country. I serve everyone and not only one."
He also said that "If change is to be permanent, it should start with us." True enough, no effort for change will be thoroughly effective if there is no cooperation among the constituents, and in this case, from all the Filipinos, may they be among the 16 million supporters who voted for Duterte, or the other groups who are up to now are still doubtful of the former Mayor of Davao city.
It was also good to finally see a Philippine flag symbol worn by the President, instead of a yellow ribbon worn by the outgoing Benigno Simeon Aquino III. People have been saying that the yellow ribbon symbolized inclination to only a few sectors of society and did not really represent the country as a whole. The yellow ribbon was more likely a vengeance symbol against the Marcos regime who once ruled the country for several years, and brought so many irregularities despite the numerous structures and developments during their leadership, or some would say, dictatorship.
Finally, we have a presidnet who does not read from his speech. However, when he said "I do solemnly swear," I had to laugh. He should have used "frequently" instead. Lol. Sometimes, if we have to cue cards, or "kodigo" to guide us, we either forget to mention important messages or go beyond what is expected. It was good he mellowed down and never uttered his usual favorite curses.
But now that the new president of the republic is in alliance with the Marcoses, as well as other groups considered controversial by many, we might be seeing some changes soon. It is just hoped that "Love of country and subordination of personal interests for the common good" will rise above all intentions and vested interests.
Heads of agencies are encouraged, or ordered, to "remove all redundant requirements." We have been burdened with so many long queues, massive document requirements and red tape, that the process of getting something from the government has been a tedious tasks. We look forward to seeing a more convenient and faster way to go about this cause of delay, like the traffic congestion that has taken away most of our productive hours stuck on the roads, with many enduring the crowded public transportation.
So when he said "My government is for the helpless, the hopeless, and the defenseless," I would assume many Filipinos who were monitoring the inauguration ceremonies must have sighed and smiled. We are definitely fed up by being called "resilient" which is actually a negative trait since it is better to never be complacent of what we have if we know we can have better, if we only strive hard and require the government to work harder, and smarter, for long-term solutions.