'Palitan na ninyo': Duterte advises Pinoys to vote 'ordinary' people for senator

If President Duterte would have his way, he wants the senators to be replaced with "ordinary Filipinos" in the May 2022 national elections.

REPLACE THE SENATORS--President Rodrigo Duterte advises voters during his "Talk to the People" public briefing on Oct. 4, 2021 (Screenshot from Facebook live)

"Why don’t you get a new --- ? I said masyadong --- ‘yang --- huwag kayong kumuha ‘yang mga bright, mga brilliant ganoon (I said not too much --- those --- don't pick the bright or brilliant ones)," Duterte said in his pre-taped "Talk to the People" public briefing on late Monday night, Oct. 4.

The President was addressing voters in the context of his disgust over how some senators have acted, particularly in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's investigation on alleged corruption in government in connection with the procurement of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) supplies last year.

"You know what? Maghanap kayo ng kandidato na ordinaryo na Pilipino. Bigyan ninyo ng panahon at ipakita rin niya (Look for candidates who are ordinary Filipinos. Give them time and they'll show you). You are better off with ordinary- minded Filipinos," he said.

In the briefing, Duterte once again slammed the senators for continuously digging into the corruption issue involving Pharmally Pharmaceuticals, which the government entered into procurement deals with in 2020.

"Hindi naman kami bumilib sa inyo na kakalkal ninyo ‘yung imbestigasyon, may nakita kayo (We’re not impressed by your digging in the investigation, did you see anything). Sabi ko (I said), big or small, if there is, file the case."

Referring to the senators, the 76-year-old Duterte said: "Hindi naman ako naghanap ng damay kasi magre-retire na ako, pero matagal na rin ‘yan sila. Halos kaedad ko ‘yan eh. Magdidiperensya lang kami ng mga five years, ganoon (It's not that I'm looking for people to take with me since I'm going to retire, but they've been there for a long them. They're my contemporaries. A difference of just five years, like that)."

"Time to correct this aberration. Panahon na talaga na (It's really time that) I'd like to advise, not tell, advise the Filipinos na ano na, palitan na ninyo (to replace them). Papaano? Huwag ninyong iboto (How? Don't vote them)," Duterte told Filipinos.

"Palitan na ninyo ‘yan. Matagal na ‘yan sila diyan. At napakita na nila ang talent nila, hanggang diyan lang. Hanggang diyan lang sila (Replace them already. They've been there for a long time. And they've already shown their talent. That's as far as they go)," he added.

Duterte clarified that his advice to voters wasn't his way of coddling the resource persons who get grilled, or worse, get detained by the Blue Ribbon panel in the course of its inquiry.

"I am not taking the cudgels for them. I am just saying that they should be treated just like a true Filipino citizen," he said.

"You know sometimes an office, the way you handle, you conduct yourself while you are there and you think that it is power, tapos ganoon ka (and you act like that), that is a reflection ‘yung pagkatao mo (of who you are as a person)," the President said.