Duterte dares senators to slash budgets of gov’t agencies by one-third
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte early Wednesday dared senators to slash the budgets of government agencies by one-third.
The President made the dare after ordering members of his Cabinet not to attend the Senate’s investigations into the government’s COVID-19 response.
“You threaten the budget of different agencies of the executive because the officials refuse to attend to your hearings. Ito ‘yung mga pang-abuso talaga, itong masabi ko sa gobyerno pagka demokrasya,” Duterte said during his Talk to the People.
(These are abuses, this is what I can say in a democratic government.)
“Itong (This) separation of powers, co-equal, and everything, and they threaten to paralyze the government, I challenge you, do it,” he added.
“Tignan mo, subukan mo, reduce it by one-third, I challenge you. ‘Wag kang matakot. Gawin mo. I-zero budget mo ang Office of the President, sige nga. Gawin mo daw,” the President went on.
(You’ll see, try it, reduce it by one-third, I challenge you. Don’t be afraid. Do it. Put the Office of the President’s budget to zero, come on.)
Duterte then threatened not to sign the national budget, saying the budget has to pass through him.
“Bakit, aabot ba ‘yang pera niyo kung hindi magdaan sa’kin? Eh kung hindi ako mag-release? Kala niyo kayo lang ang marunong,” the Chief Executive said.
(You think your money will reach you if it will pass through me? What if I don’t release it? You think you are the only wise ones?)
On Tuesday, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and other Department of Health officials skipped the Senate hearing.
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