Palace defends Duterte ‘mukhang pera’ remark on PRC

Published November 6, 2020, 1:53 PM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Malacañang asked the public Friday to just allow President Duterte to say what he wants to say as the Palace defended the Chief Executive’s criticisms on the Philippine Red Cross.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement after Duterte called the PRC as “mukhang pera” or greedy after it resumed testing COVID-19 patients for the government after PhilHealth partially paid its debt totaling P1.1 billion.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque

In a virtual presser aired over State-run PTV-4, Roque said that the President should be allowed to say whatever he wants.

“Let’s allow na lang (Let’s just allow) the President to say what he wants to say and let that remain on record,” he said.

“Bahala na po ang (It’s up to the) PRC to construe what the President said,” he added.

In a public address Thursday night, Duterte took a jab at the PRC after he was informed by Health Secretary Francisco Duque III that the PRC had resumed its testing services after being paid half of PhilHealth’s debt.

“Mukhang pera,” he said.

The Filipino phrase mukhang pera literally translates to “money face.” In context, the phrase usually refers to a person who does things only for money.

Last month, the PRC halted testing operations for the government due to PhilHealth’s debt. The President has assured PRC chairman, Sen. Richard Gordon, that the government will pay the organization.

This week, it was revealed that the outstanding debt of PhilHealth incurred an additional P16 billion after the PRC resumed its COVID-19 testing operations for the government.