“I WILL be glad to be your friend forever. I am not your enemy,” the tough talking President Rodrigo Duterte declared Tuesday night with a mellow tone.
Duterte made a bid for détente with media with about two and a half weeks ahead of Christmas at Malacanang’s Heroes’ Hall as he hosted the first Christmas party for members of the Malacañang Press Corps, photographers and cameramen.
“I am not your enemy. Your quest for truth, that is your business, not mine. At the end of the day, it’s not my property. It’s just public interest,” the President said.
“I will be glad to be your friend forever,” the President told the media.
“Never mind about our relations. It’s always adversarial…. Wala naman tayong galit. We do not fight with each other. I do not hate anybody here or else I would not be inviting you to my place,” he said.
The President however pointed out that there was always another side to every story.
“Your truth is not my truth and everybody’s truth… There is always two sides of the coin. My truth, your truth, and the public perception,” Duterte said.
Nevertheless, he said he would be glad to be a friend to the press.
Duterte reiterated his views on his relationship with the media in a spiel which ended one of his songs.
“In the meantime, we have work to do. You have your mandate, I have my task. If we happen to meet at a corner and agree, it would be good. But if we find ourselves in disagreement, that is part of our territory,” he said. ` Duterte had previously lashed out at several news organizations, and had even boycotted the press in his first days in office.
It was Duterte’s first Christmas party with the MPC since he assumed office.
During the dinner, Duterte entertained media with a rendition of “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban, which was a refreshing change to his usual and favorite number, “Ikaw”.
Duterte dedicated his performance to his late mother Soledad Roa Duterte.
At one point, Duterte appeared to forget the lyrics and the band behind him played purely instrumentals.