Duterte wants unity, public support for Marcos Jr.

Outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte urged Filipinos to unite and support his successor, President-elect Bongbong Marcos Jr., saying the next administration needs help in confronting the country’s woes.,The 77-year-old Chief Executive said there should be “no room for politicking or actions that are divisive” even in a democratic country like the Philippines.,“I hope that everybody will come to terms with the reality that we have a new government and I urge you, Filipinos, to rally behind and support the new leaders. We want the next administration successful,” he said in his public address on Monday night, weeks before stepping down from Malacañang on 30 June.,“We must all be united in confronting the issues ahead of us. We have no room for politicking or actions that are divisive to the country. The people have spoken and I’m out,” Duterte added.,The President also said the public should refrain from criticizing the incoming administration because Marcos “would need the help and cooperation of everybody.”,“We must give it to him. That’s a democracy,” Duterte said, referring to Marcos. “This is the way we govern the country.”,Duterte is expected to return to his private life in Davao City after his term and spend time with his family. He had said that he was open to teaching Law subjects.,The President earlier called Marcos names as he accused the latter of pressuring his daughter, Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio, to slide to the No. 2 post instead of the presidency. The BBM-Sara tandem has since denied the allegation.,Days before the election, Duterte seemed to have softened on Marcos and said the latter has been living a “simple life.”,He also claimed that the Marcos family’s stolen wealth was not yet proven, despite court rulings here and abroad stating otherwise.,Marcos and Duterte-Carpio are set to lead the Philippines starting 1 July after getting over 30 million votes each in the national elections.,They will inherit a plethora of problems like widespread poverty, which worsened because of large-scale lockdowns imposed by the Duterte administration to prevent the spread of Covid-19.,From 23 percent in 2015, poverty incidence dropped to a low of 16 percent in 2019. But the figure ballooned to 23.7 percent in 2021 at the height of the global health crisis, according to a report from the Commission on Population and Development.,Among the major issues that they will also confront include the billions worth of debts aggravated by the pandemic.,The Philippines’ national debt was nearing the P13-trillion mark as domestic and offshore borrowings increased to fund its Covid-19 response and social services programs.,