Palace slams De Lima for doubting Duterte’s claims on ‘running out’ govt funds
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Saturday slammed Senator Leila De Lima for doubting the claim of President Rodrigo Duterte that government funds are now running out amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis, saying that she was “blabbering from ignorance.”
“The detained Senator De Lima is blabbering from ignorance,” Palace spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement.
De Lima, who is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center inside Camp Crame in Quezon City over drug charges, said she got hold of the transcript of Duterte’s address through her staff.
But Panelo said De Lima was not listening to Duterte’s message, adding: “She should read the transcript of his televised message.”
This comes after the opposition senator questioned Duterte’s claims after the Chief Executive contradicted his previous statement that the government has enough funds to ramp up support for those affected by the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine enforced to contain the COVID-19 crisis.
At one point, Duterte, in a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, raised the possibility of selling government assets to raise more funds for the COVID-19 fight.
“Why is Duterte hinting already of disposing of our assets? Exhausted na ba talaga ang available funds (are the available funds really exhausted), and those that can be reprogrammed within government?” De Lima asked.
But Panelo said the President did not claim that government funds were exhausted, but rather it was not “infinite.”
“If she can not help in the government’s efforts to fight COVID-19 she should at least lockdown her mouth,” Panelo said in his retort to De Lima.
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