President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, June 25, asked newly elected national and local officials for a unified effort to serve the interest of the Filipino people and improve their living condition following the May 13 midterm elections.
President Duterte led the oath-taking in Malacañang of newly elected Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) senators, party-list representatives and government officials from Regions 1 to 13 and National Capital Region, rallying their support for an efficient and graft-free government.
In his speech during the oath-taking rites, he said Tuesday’s celebration was not only for them and their families, but also for the people who supported them during the last election.
“Having served as mayor of Davao City for a long time, I am more than familiar with the challenges of local governance. My advice is that you work with those who have the same vision of governance as you do so that you would become effective and more efficient leaders,” he told the newly elected officials.
“As you assume office, it becomes your highest duty to practice and uphold accountability and transparency in government, and to ensure that graft and corruption will not have a place in this administration,” he added.
Despite the challenging task, the newly elected officials will have the
chance to see firsthand the plight of the people that they are mandated to serve, the President said.
The Chief Executive told them to work to the best of their abilities to protect and empower their constituents, especially the most vulnerable in order for the people to have more meaningful and productive lives.
“I hope that you will also embody the values that this administration stands for. I look forward to working with you as we continue to take further strides towards building a nation that is more progressive, more dynamic, and filled with opportunities for every Filipino,” he said in his message.
Daunting challenges lie ahead, he said. In Mindanao, the region is still rife with violence and the implementation of the newly signed Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) is still gaining momentum.
He highlighted the need for a synchronized effort of the national and regional leadership to overcome hurdles and speed up development.
“We still have to perfect the BOL. I am now the one government that is hurrying them up. We have so much resources. They say that Liguasan Marsh contains all the…or whatever you need to build a nation, if there is such money there,” the President said.
In the fight against illegal drugs, President Duterte said Mexican drug gangs have found their way to test the waters in the Philippines.
The Visayas region is still affected by the proliferation of illegal narcotics and the administration has to work hard to get rid of the menace, he added.
He also expressed his views on the ongoing process to select a new house speaker, saying he would adopt a hands-off policy regarding the matter and it is up to the lawmakers to choose their leader.
“You have to decide. You can do it by party affiliation. You can take out Hugpong in the meantime kasi it was just a foisted political party for purposes of election. Huwag na lang ako isali ninyo,” he said.
“So, mag-usap kayo ulit. Bahala na kayo sa buhay ninyo. Ako, basta I can work well.”
Present during the mass oath taking in Malacañang were newly elected governors, vice governors, house representatives, mayors, vice mayors, and councilors.
The newly elected senators who attended the event were Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.