Duterte flying back to Manila Monday after spending weekend in Davao

President Rodrigo Duterte is returning to Manila from City on Monday night, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said.

“Ang alam ko pong pagbalik niya, mamaya din. Hindi ko lang po alam kung matutuloy ang public address mamaya. Pero mamaya po ang balik ni Presidente, gabi,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a virtual press briefing.

(I know he is coming back tonight. I am not sure if his public address later would continue. But the President is coming back tonight.)

Duterte finally was able to go home after two months of enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila to prevent the spread of new coronavirus. The President also spent his 75th birthday without his family at the Palace in March. 

“He is in after more than 2 months of not being able to see his family,” Presidential Security Group chief Col. Jesus Durante III told ABS-CBN News. 

NCR and other areas in central Luzon shifted to modified ECQ from ECQ starting May 17, Saturday.

The President’s travel drew flack from some netizens saying there was a double standard when it comes to implementing the rules of community quarantine. 

Also read: Returning workers not required to take COVID-19 test-DOLE

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año meanwhile defended Duterte saying his travel was an exemption. 

“I think the President’s flight is one of those exemptions, being the highest official of the land. He has the authority to go anywhere he wants. And being the chief executive, chief implementer of all the laws of the land, he can go wherever he wants, as long as health standards and protocol are observed,” Año told ANC.

Based on Resolution No. 37 of the IATF, the following areas are under modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective Saturday, May 16, to last until Sunday, May 31:

  • highly urbanized cities of the National Capital Region and municipality of Pateros
  • Bataan
  • Bulacan
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pampanga including Angeles City
  • Zambales
  • Laguna

Many Filipinos remain stranded in Metro Manila because mass transportation is still prohibited for areas under the MECQ. 

As of May 17, the Philippines has recorded 12, 513 confirmed cases, 824 deaths, and 2,635 recoveries. 

Also read: Remulla closes malls after shoppers failed to observe social distancing