Duterte: I won’t lie on COVID-19 situation

Published April 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

As the government steps up measures to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte has pledged never to lie to the public and steal public funds.


The President said he intends to govern “properly and right” and would frankly tell the people about the real situation in the country.

“I do not have the duty to lie to you. Bakit ako magsinungaling? Kung ganun ang sitwasyon, sabihin ko sa inyo, ‘yan. Eh anong magawa ko? (Why would I lie? If that’s the situation, I will tell you as is. What can I do?),” he said in his public address last Friday night.

“Bakit ko papahirapan ang sarili ko? Magtanong ako sa inyo. Just to lie to you to make you happy? (Why would I make it hard for myself? I’m asking you, just to lie to you make you happy?) Well, I govern properly and right. If it makes you happy, then you smile. If not, you criticize me. Walang pigil, social media, lahat kayo (It is nonstop on social media),” he added.

The President, who delivered recent public addresses to update the nation about the government’s COVID-19 response, said he would rather tell the truth than “color” his statement just to please the public.

“Pero ako magsabi ako, I have to color my statement, I do not do that. Dito sabihin ko prangkahan mo ‘yung tao (But to say I have to color my statement, I do not do that. I will frankly tell the people the truth),” he said.

With the implementation of the P200-billion emergency subsidy program for low-income families, the President also assured the public that he would not pillage the nation’s coffers.

The former Davao City mayor said stealing public funds has never been on his mind since he entered government.

“Bakit namin nakawin ‘yang p***** i**? Ako nag — ang nag-ambisyon ako naging — maging presidente, wala naman sa isip ko magnakaw (Why would we steal that son of a b*tch? When I aspired to become president, I never thought of stealing),” he said.

“Katagal-tagal kong mayor eh, 23 years. ‘Di noon pa sana para pagdating dito hindi na ako magnakaw (I was a mayor for 23 years. I could have stolen then but now that I am here, I do not steal),” he said.

Duterte said the government has sufficient funds to address the public health emergency, and promised that these will be properly audited.

He explained that he wanted to be “careful” with the release of the funds after placing Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in charge of the emergency subsidy program to ensure the aid goes directly to the beneficiaries.

“Basta dumating lang doon, walang problema. Hindi pamulitika ‘yan. Hindi man panahon ng politika. (As long as it reaches the people, there’s no problem. That’s not politicking. This is not the time for politics),” he said.

The government earlier launched the massive social protection program for sectors affected by the enhanced community quarantine guidelines.

Under the emergency subsidy program, the DSWD will distribute financial aid between P5,000 to P8,000 to 18 million low-income Filipinos for the months of April and May. The amount of the subsidy will depend on the prevailing minimum wage in a region.#