MANILA-- President Rodrigo R. Duterte urged local elective officials to be guided by the noblest intentions and to keep in mind the public's interest at all times despite unrelenting criticism.
Speaking before the Philippine Councilors League's 10th National Congress at the World Trade Center in Pasay City on Wednesday, March 8, the President reminded councilors that national progress relies immensely on peace and order at the local level.
"I hold it as an article of faith that ...no progress and development can take place 'pag ang lugar mo magulo at maraming krimen. Tandaan ninyo 'yan," the Chief Executive said in his speech.
Duterte, who served lengthily as a mayor and vice mayor in Davao City before he became President, reminded the councilors not to be swayed by critics, who are out to smear the government's efforts to initiate meaningful change.
"Wala ka nang magawa eh so except to shut up. Otherwise, sabi nga ni Lincoln and it's my favorite adage that if I Sabi nga ni Lincoln and it is good for you to remember:
"If I were to try," and I quote him, "If I were to try to read, much less answer all the attacks made on me, this shop might as well be closed for any other business. I do the very best I can and I mean to keep doing so until the end. If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. But if the end brings me out wrong, ten angels of God swearing I was right would make no difference."
Commenting on numerous criticisms raised against him by other countries, President Duterte reiterated that public servants remain only "answerable to the Filipinos."
During the event, the President also said the Philippines is reaping rewards due to its improved diplomatic relationships with China.
"They are willing to buy anything that we can sell. And may mga grants tayo and they will take care of yung railway from North to South, and we will begin immediately. Kita mo 'yung sincerity talaga ng Chinese," Duterte said.
"So let me publicly again thank President Xi Jinping and the Chinese people for loving us and giving us enough leeway to survive the rigors of economic life in this planet," he added.
PCL is presently led by its national chairman Elmer O. Datuin, national president Maybelyn DC Fernandez, vice chairman Mohammad Matabalao, vice president Benito J. Brizuela and national secretary-general Joaquin Emmanuel Pimentel.
The league was first conceived in 1989 and obtained its official status as a local government association when it was accredited by the then Department of Interior and Local Government on September 1990.
The PCL's 10th congress has the theme "Your PCL Advocating Genuine Peace, Inclusive Growth and Countryside Development through Federalism.
Source: Philippines News Agency