Duterte flies back to Davao City

After being stranded in Manila for two months due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, President Duterte returned to Davao City past midnight Saturday despite the ban on non-essential travel.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque confirmed in a text message Saturday afternoon that Duterte was already in Davao City. He did not provide additional details.


Presidential Security Group (PSG) commander Col. Jesus Durante III likewise confirmed Duterte’s travel but assured that the President will be attending the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases scheduled on Tuesday.

“Yes. He is in Davao for a visit after more than two months of not being able to see his family. He will be back for the next IATF meeting,” he said.

Meanwhile, in an interview over Super Radyo DZBB, Roque, knowing that Duterte’s travel will be an issue, said the President’s travel was not just for leisure but also to check on the situation in Mindanao after 67 days of being stranded in MalacaƱang. Non-essential travel is prohibited under all quarantine zones.

“Alam ko magiging issue ito pero ‘wag nating kalimutan na ang ginawa naman ng ating Presidente na pagpunta sa Davao, hindi lang pagbisita after 67 days kung hindi Presidente rin siya (I know this will be an issue but let’s not forget that his travel to Davao is not just a visit but he’s also a President),” he said.

“Kinakailangan naman niya malaman kung ano nangyayari sa Mindanao dahil ang buong Mindanao ngayon po ay bumabalik na sa normal. So hindi mo naman maaalis sa katungkulan ng Presidente ‘yan (He also needs to know the situation in Mindanao since the entire island is going back to normal. You cannot deprive the President of that),” he added.

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