Davao City — It wasn’t exactly the kind of reaction you get from somebody known for tough talk and who even carries the menacing moniker of “The Punisher.”
Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that there was no way he would stay at the Malacañang Palace during his six-year term because the presidential residence is inhabited by “mumo,” or ghosts.
Sharing a conversation he had with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, a recent visitor to this city and a former resident of Malacañang where their family stayed for 21 years during the time of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Duterte said he asked her if the Palace was indeed haunted.
Marcos may have only been joking when she answered in the affirmative, but it was enough to convince Duterte that he didn’t want to mess with the rumored ghosts at the Palace by the Pasig River.
“May prejudice ako sa Malacañang. Talagang may mumo dyan (I really harbor prejudice against staying in Malacanang. There are ghosts there,” he told amused media men, and his guests that included boxing legend and Senator-elect Manny Pacquiao, former running mate and Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and his sister, former Senator Pia Cayetano, and Duterte’s peace adviser Jess Dureza.
As such, Duterte averred that he “might go home (to Davao) every day.” “Nandito ang kama ko. Yung kwarto ko. Ang comfort zone ko, nandito lahat (My bed is here, so is my bed and my comfort zone. They’re all here),” he said.
Duterte pointed out that it would just be a matter of managing his schedule that would allow him to catch the 8 a.m. flight to Manila where he would arrive at around 9:30 a.m.
After pouring through reports and signing documents, he said he would be ready to report for work at 1 p.m. He can then knock off at 9 p.m., in time for the last flight back to Davao.
“My day (at work) will start at 1 p.m.” he said. And when he arrives back in Davao at around 11 p.m., Duterte said he would just need a few hours to freshen up, “to brush my teeth and wash up,” before he could accommodate more official guests presumably at the Malacañang in the south.
“What would be very important would be my military aide because he would be able to give me updates every once in a while,” he noted.