By Genalyn Kabiling
President Duterte intends to kill only the “desire” of the rich people to steal money from the poor, not literally end their lives, Malacañang said on Sunday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo clarified that the President’s “golpe de gulat” or shock and awe strategy was only meant to demonstrate his determination to enforce the law and hold accountable those who violate it.
“By this time, alam na natin kung ano ibig sabihin ni Presidente. Kapag sinabi niyang kill the crazy rich, ang ibig sabihin nun (By this time, you know what the President meant. If he said kill the crazy rich, he means) he will kill the desire of the rich to steal money from the taxpayers, from the consumers,” he said in a radio interview. “’Yan ang ibig niyang sabihin. Hindi naman literal na papatayin. Alam mo naman si Presidente graphic yun. Kasama yun sa kanyang style (That’s what he meant. It is not about literally killing them. You know the President is graphic. That’s his style),” he added.
The President recently criticized the alleged “insatiable” greed of some rich businessmen, saying these “abusive” people should be killed.
Duterte likewise vented his anger at the owners of the Metro Manila water concessionaires, calling them “thieves” for violating people’s rights. New water concession contracts are being prepared after the President openly denounced the existing deals for its alleged onerous provisions.
“There are many rich people who are good, those who have a conscience. But these guys, they own it all, all the businesses in the Philippines. The greed in you is insatiable,” Duterte said during the distribution of benefits to former Communist rebels in San Isidro, Leyte last Thursday.
“There are rich people in the Philippines who are crazy. They’re the ones whom we should kill. Just wait for my go signal,” he said.
In explaining the President’s shock and awe strategy, Panelo said the President merely wanted to bring his message across with high impact. He said Duterte wanted to tell the wealthy people that they must follow the law or else face consequences.
“Hindi lang figure of speech, para to stress the importance of what he is saying para… kasi tayong mga Pilipino kung minsan kailangan daldalhin mo sa golpe de gulat para maintintindihan ang sinasabi mo o maging aware ka sa gustong iparating na mensahe sa iyo (It’s not just a figure of speech. It is meant to stress the importance of what he is saying because sometimes we Filipinos need shock and awe to understand the message),” he said.
He assured that businessmen don’t necessarily need to hire more bodyguards over the President’s latest pronouncement. He said they have nothing to worry if they obey the country’s laws.
“Wala. Alam mo kung wala ka namang masamang ginagawa sa kapwa mo, hindi ka matatakot sa iyong kaligtasan. Wala naman gagawa sa iyo ng masama (None. You know if you are not doing anything bad to your fellowmen, you don’t have to fear for your safety. Nothing bad will happen to you),” he said when asked if the businessmen needed to hire more bodyguards.