President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Friday, May 4, refuted the Time Magazine article that featured him as one of the “strongmen,” stressing the Filipinos’ freedom to criticize him.
“Kaya ako, andiyan ngayon sa Time Magazine, isa daw ako sa mga strongman. Hindi naman ako strongman,” the President said in his speech at SMX Convention Center in Davao City during the 37th Philippine Principals Training and Development Program and National Board Conference.
“Kailan pa ba ako naghari-hari dito sa Pilipinas?” he said.
The Time Magazine article, which was written by Ian Bremmer, concluded that “we are now in the strongman era.”
The article that came out on May 3 featured President Duterte, along with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
President Duterte maintained that he has never sent anybody to jail for criticizing him.
“And for all I care, ‘yung security guard, police, general, o NPA o si Sison or a teacher or a gardener can criticize me… I will take that,” he said, adding that he is just a government worker.
“Kayo ‘yung nagsusweldo eh sa akin. Ngayon, okay sa akin ‘yun na ‘yung magsigaw sila diyan Gabriela, go ahead. You use your freedom of expression,” he further said.
He, however, insisted that he will never agree to take criticisms from foreign nationals.
“Pero kung foreigner ka, that is another thing,” he said. PND