MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte criticized the statements of former Commission on Audit commissioner, Heidi Mendoza, during a speech in Malacañang Wednesday.
The president said he will not allow Mendoza, to lecture him about procurement procedures.
The heated exchange between the two began when the president told local officials not to heed COA regulations after Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos reported that the state auditor denied their request for cash advance for the purchase of construction materials intended for rebuilding houses damaged by the typhoon.
Mendoza posted on her Facebook that the disaster audit guide has been in effect since the time of Typhoon Ondoy wherein the local government is allowed to spend up to P500,000 in aid of calamity victims without having to go through a public bidding.
Duterte said he knows more about the procurement process than Mendoza does.
“Hindi niya ako ma-lecturan niyan (She cannot lecture me) because I was ahead of her by a mile diyan sa (in) understanding the nitty-gritty,” he said. “You convict a person by a circular? Not even by a law. And it’s a violation of circular. A circular, what is its dimension? That it reach the level of both the national and local.”
The chief executive said he is only defending government officials who cannot defend themselves against allegations of procurement irregularities amid the typhoon.
“I was speaking of the people who cannot defend themselves properly. I was not criticizing… so ‘yung doon sa (the case in)Benguet, sabi nitong ano (the official there said)— because they have to comply with certain regulations. Sabi ko (I said to them), ‘To hell with COA. Do not listen to them just do what I’m telling you to do. I will answer them’,” the president said. — Rosalie Coz
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to impose a more drastic measure particularly against violators of the government’s lockdown rules as cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continue to climb in the country.
In his late-night address on Thursday (April 16), the President warned of military and police take over if Filipinos continue to break the government’s enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in an effort to contain the spread of COVID-19.
“I am just asking for your disiplina, kasi kapag ayaw ninyong maniwala, mag-take over ang military at police (I am just asking for your discipline because if you do not obey, the military and police will take over). I am ordering them now to be ready,” the President said addressing quarantine violators.
“Sila na, parang martial law na rin. Mamili kayo (They will take over like in martial law. You decide),” he added.
The President expressed frustration over reports of residents repeatedly violating quarantine rules despite the government’s efforts in providing social relief at this time of crisis.
Nearly two weeks before the extended Luzon-wide ECQ is lifted on April 30, President Duterte said he will be compelled to order the government forces to enforce strict social distancing and curfew measures if the number of quarantine violators continue to increase.
“Ayaw ko pero kapag naipit na ang bayan at wala kayong disiplina, (I don’t want to do it but if the entire country is compromised because you lack discipline),” he warned.
The Chief Executive also directed the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to investigate the perpetrators of cockfighting and street drinking sessions in Metro Manila amid the ECQ.
He threatened to cut government aid to those who would further ignore ECQ measures.
“May pera pala kayong pangsabong. May pera pala kayo pang-inom. Ibigay ko na lang (sa iba,) [You have money for cockfighting. You have money for drinking sessions, so I might as well give the money [to those in need,] ” the President said.
“There’s not enough to go around. Hindi talaga magkasya. We are getting low sa supply ng pagkain na. Ilang araw na iyan buong Pilipinas pinapakain mo – 18 million families (Our supply especially of food is getting lower. We have been feeding 18 millione Filipino families for days now],” he concluded. MNP (with inputs from Rosalie Coz)
The Presidential yacht BRP Ang Pangulo is now ready to accept coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients after its conversion into a floating quarantine facility.
The Philippine Navy (PN) said it can accommodate a total of 28 patients with five medical personnel.
“Three exclusive compartments were prepared by PN personnel for the patients with temporary division in place observing 3-meter distance between them. Patients and medical staff are given different access points,” their statement reads.
The Navy added that the crew will remain onboard while the ship is being utilized as a quarantine facility.
PPEs were provided for the crew and rapid antibody tests were also conducted on them.
The ship’s remodeling began 48 hours after President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants to utilize the ship for COVID-19 patients. AAC
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