By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte appealed to both his political allies and opponents to help the people move out of poverty instead of oppressing them.
Duterte made the statement as he led the PDP-Laban proclamation rally in Agusan Del Norte Sunday evening.
In his speech, Duterte said that even if they belonged to different political parties, their main goal should remain the same: to uplift the lives of Filipinos.
“We may be in the same political party or not, do not oppress the people,” Duterte said in Visayan.
According to the President, Filipinos were poor and dependent on their government, and this could be blamed on the existing feudal system in the country. Under feudalism, the government was considered as “a miracle from heaven,” which makes the government susceptible to corruption.
According to the President, politicians elected to public office often pocket large amounts of government money intended for state projects. Kickbacks and commissions typically go as high as 30 percent for every project handled by elected officials.
“The politicians divide money this way: 30 percent of the budget allocated for a certain project will go straight to the pockets of the congressman. How will he be able to buy good quality cement and buses? How will he be able to pay for workers’ wages?” Duterte said.
“That is why he can only afford to hire five people to work on road projects for the whole year. That road project has been going on for five years. There’s no more money left because of corruption. That’s the truth. Ask anyone…ask a contractor. That’s really how it is. And that is why we are still in a feudal system,” he added.
“People are in poverty. Almost everything they need in life…school, national high school…will all go to the elected congressman, governor, and mayor. It does not come naturally because the money is always divided by politicians,” he continued.
According to Duterte, he tried to allocate money equally to local officials, regardless of whether they are political allies or not, stating that this was his mandate to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).