President Rodrigo Duterte’s Karinderya Photo Draws Mixed Reactions From Netizens

President Rodrigo Duterte gives a thumbs up during a press conference in Davao City. Photo by Karl Norman Alonzo/PPD
President Rodrigo Duterte gives a thumbs up during a press conference in Davao City. Photo by Karl Norman Alonzo/PPD

Senatorial candidate and former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go took photos of President Rodrigo Duterte eating breakfast alone in a canteen in Davao City on March 25, 2019. The photos were immediately picked up and posted by various news outfits in the Philippines, generating mixed reactions from the netizens.

Loyal supporters of the 73-year old politician were in awe after seeing the photos, commending Duterte for his simplicity and humility. They compared the president to other political leaders who prefer fancy restaurants and would never be seen dining in a local eatery. There are netizens who said he is a “good role model” and a “true cowboy.”

However, the post also earned negative feedback from social media users. Some netizens claimed it was just a publicity stunt, tying it to the fast-approaching 2019 national elections. Some claimed the photo was “obviously orchestrated,” which prompted them to ridicule Duterte. People called him a “good actor” and a “hypocrite.”

Netizens also poked fans at the “ka-DDS” or the supporters of the president who are making a big deal out of Duterte dining at a canteen. Some detractors said that eating at a “karinderya” is normal and the news is just being sensationalized by doe-eyed fans.

Bong Go also became the target of harsh social media comments. Go was accused of using the photos to boost his political standing. Netizens also made fun of the politician, saying he should take up a job in photography, instead of running for a seat in the Senate. Go is said to be a close colleague of Duterte, who is a senatorial candidate under the PDP-Laban.

Duterte charmed the Filipino nation in 2016 when he ran for the highest position in the country. Aside from his austere leadership style, he won the hearts of the people because of his simple lifestyle. Before assuming the presidency, the former Davao mayor was frequently seen dining in local eateries in his hometown. Duterte, as well as his family, has always been a fan of home-cooked and budget-friendly meals.

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