By Antonio L. Colina IV of MindaNews
DAVAO City--Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, presumptive President-elect who shied away from public view after media interviews on election day, May 9, will make his first public appearance on Monday (May 16), spokesperson Peter Laviña, said.
In a press briefing Friday at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao, Laviña said the mayor will accept well-wishers and meet personalities who supported his candidacy for President at the Matina Enclaves, developed by Escandor Development Corporation (Esdevco).
Esdevco is owned by Duterte’s friend, businessman Glen Escandor.
Laviña said Duterte will welcome media interviews.
He added that Duterte is also expected to receive Monday the books from his former professor on Political Thought Jose Maria Sison, founding chair of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Laviña was unsure if these books were authored by Sison himself or gathered from countries around Europe.
“They are talking regularly on Skype,” he said.
He added that another event to thank supporters may be held separately but will be guarded closely for security reasons because “he is no longer the mayor campaigning for the Presidency. He is the presumptive President-elect already.”
Tighter security measures have already been in place which can be likened to the protocols followed by members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), to ensure the safety of the mayor, he said.
His security team is composed of retired officials from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (PNP), and a medical team will also be around. An aide has been assigned to the mayor to taste the meals before he eats, Laviña added.
“Naa na as suggested by the campaign security team. They made the presentations on the security protocols for the presumptive President-elect, which include protocols of the PSG. We created a PSG-like security,” he said.
Supporters are organizing on June 4 a thanksgiving event at the Crocodile Park in the city, which will be attended by thousands of Filipinos coming from different parts of the Philippines, according to Laviña.
“We are not stopping others from organizing their own celebrations,” he said.
On May 7, the last day of the 90-day election campaign, a total of 94,584 people converged at the Crocodile Park to join the historic attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Record for the most people singing the national anthem.
The city failed to break record held current by Bangladesh with 264,000 last year.
The crowd caused traffic congestion along Diversion Road and supporters from all socioeconomic classes could be seen walking to and from the park. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)
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