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Roque: Duterte seems keen to spend more time in Mindanao

President Rodrigo Duterte is seen receiving United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim and other US officials at the presidential guest house in Panacan, Davao City in this file photo from January 2017. Malacañang/Handout

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte appears to be keen to spend more time and govern from his home island Mindanao rather than at the seat of power in Manila, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Friday.

“For your information, there is a Malacañang in Mindanao, it’s called Panacañang,” said Roque, in reference to the presidential guest house in Panacan in Duterte’s native Davao City. 

“It’s in Panacan and it was only recently refurbished. The President toured me around a refurbished Panacañang and my prediction is coming true- the President appears to be spending more time in Davao than in Malacañang,” Roque said, taking questions from local media in Bukidnon. 

The President has been known to divide his time between Manila and his home city. 

Roque noted that the President has chosen to hold several of his events in Davao City rather than in Manila over the past few weeks. 

These include a command conference with the Philippine National Police and receiving a foreign dignitary, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, at the Panacan guest house, also called the Malacañang of the south. 

But Roque clarified that this does not mean the President may be going to Manila less often, as he “continues to have his Mondays to Fridays schedules in Malacañang.”

But, he said, it would not be a bad idea for Duterte to spend more time in Mindanao.

“I think that’s the overwhelming sentiment of the people in Mindanao who have long complained not only of historical injustice, but of a development of bias for Metro Manila,” Roque explained.

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