Should the head of state get a free ride on commercial planes? President Rodrigo Duterte thinks so.
In a speech at the 140th founding anniversary of the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association Inc. Wednesday (June 28), Duterte complained over the lack of free passes to Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
“Ako, nag-commercial lang ako. Hanggang ngayon itong si PAL pati si, ‘tong si Cebu, hindi na lang naisip nila na ang nagsasakay Presidente, hindi man lang makabigay ng passes pareha sa sine,” he said.
The President recalled that his father, the late Davao governor and Secretary Vicente Duterte, received free passes for their entire family when he was a politiko.
“Merong card ang tatay ko noon eh, ibinigay ng PAL. ‘Secretary Vicente Duterte, wife and family.’ Kaya para akong Congressman noon, sige uwi,” he said.
“Itong bago ngayon, kuripot itong…,” Duterte remarked, without finishing his sentence.
PAL is owned by bilyonaryo Lucio Tan while Cebu Pacific is part of the business empire of tycoon John Gokongwei.
Duterte has chosen to take commercial flights so the presidential plane, a Fokker F-28, can be used to transport wounded soldiers.