President Ordinary! A funny thing happened Monday night when I made a presentation before the Cabinet on the planned preparation for the expected onslaught of La Niña, the climatic phenomenon which brings unusually heavy rains.
Following protocol, I started my presentation with the usual courtesies for President Rody Duterte and the members of the Cabinet.
“You Excellency, members of the Cabinet …,” I said as I began to explain why, in the face of the unpredictability of climate, the country must strive to attain not only rice self-sufficiency but establish a 6-month buffer stock.
Halfway through my presentation and as I kept repeating “Your Excellency” to address President Duterte, I noticed that he pulled a piece of paper and a ballpen from Finance Secretary Sonny Dominguez.Sec. Dominguez sits between me and the President.
After scribbling something on the piece of paper, President Duterte pushed it to Sec. Dominguez who passed it on to me.
Pausing from my presentation to read the Presidential note, I saw the message:
“Stop addressing me Your Excellency. Just call me Rody,” the note from the President said.
I chuckled and told him: “Sorry, Mr. President.”
While he simply wanted me and the other members of the Cabinet to call him “Rody,” protocol dictates that we address him using his title “Mr. President.”
This is how simple this President is.
This is the President who told airport authorities not to suspend commercial flights whenever he uses the airport.
This is the President who has instructed his Cabinet members to travel economy class and to use ordinary vehicles without the No. 6 plate reserved for Department Secretaries.
He leads by example in living a simple lifestyle.
President Duterte is President Ordinary.
Actually, by being very ordinary he has in fact become President Extra-Ordinary. BY MANNY PIÑOL
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