Duterte tells highs and lows of being president

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 29 2016 06:05 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File Photo

President Rodrigo Duterte admitted on Thursday that being the head of state at 71 years old is "not confusing, but stressful."

"No matter how orderly you plan your life for the next day... what you plan to do in the office the day after, nasisira," Duterte said in an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News' Lynda Jumilla. 

"That gets you not confusing, but stressful. You have to make crucial decisions that must be made at once," the president added.


Duterte said, being the chief executive gives him "a lot to think about everyday." 

The president said he does not have a favored adviser as he turns to officials who are directly involved on the issue at hand.

"Whoever is at it [issue], if it is under his jurisdiction, I listen to him," Duterte said.

"It's just a matter of (prioritizing) what is really hardest to solve... You have to stare at the problem eyeball to eyeball," Duterte added.


Aside from having packed and frequently changing schedules, Duterte also lamented the travel requirements that come with the job he took on six months ago.

"I hate to travel actually but I had to make it," he said.

He said he needs to converse with other Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) heads of states to "get feedback while it's still early" as the "[ASEAN] agenda must be considered early." 

The Philippines takes over as chairman of ASEAN in 2017. 


Whenever he travels, Duterte said he always looks forward to returning to his hometown of Davao, usually during the weekend.

"Flying home is really an enjoyable one, regardless of the weather.
Coming back and reporting for duty is another matter," Duterte said.

The president said, he had "a good Christmas" since he managed to "celebrate it with the family," just like when he was still Davao mayor.

"On the 25th (of December), there's always a big bash in my house. It's a tradition started by my dad," Duterte said.

Aside from Christmas, Duterte also celebrated the "considerable decrease" in crime and graft as his accomplishments in his six months as president.

"Tatlo lang naman ang sinabi ko (noong eleksyon): I will stop corruption. I am doing it. I will do it. It will be done. I will fight drugs. I am fighting it. A lot of people are complaining about me because of my fight against drugs. And I will allow the burial of Marcos (at the Libingan ng mga Bayani)," the president said.