Did Duterte admit corruption in 2017? Roque believes ‘it was a joke’
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Friday brushed off Senator Richard Gordon’s revival of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “admission” of alleged corruption in 2017, saying the chief executive’s remark at the time was a “joke.”
“Hayaan na lang natin pong ngumawa siya [Gordon] nang ngumawa dahil alam naman po natin kung anong realidad, wala pong disallowance sa COA [Commission on Audit] ang Presidente sa mahigit na 40 anyos niyang karera sa politika,” Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace briefing Friday.
(Let’s just let him open his mouth because what we know is that the President has no notice of disallowance from COA in his over 40-year career in politics.)
Gordon revived Duterte’s 2017 quote after the chief executive claimed he became president because he is not corrupt “like” the senator.
During Thursday’s Senate blue ribbon hearing, Gordon turned the tables on Duterte.
“Ang isasagot ko para alam ng madla, napaka simple lang po, ito po ang sinabi ng Presidente doon sa [Philippine Chinese Charitable Association] on June 28, 2017: ‘I hate corruption. Hindi ako nagmamalinis. Marami rin akong nanakaw pero naubos na,’” Gordon said.
(What I will tell the public so that people would know, is as simple as this — the President said this on June 28, 2017 at the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association: “I hate corruption. I am not making myself clean here. I have also stolen a lot but they are all gone now.”)
When asked about the remark Duterte made four years ago, Roque said: “I think that’s a joke po.”
“Dahil ang paninindigan po ng Presidente hindi po siya tatagal sa politika kung siya po ay corrupt,” he added.
(What the President is standing by is that he will not last long in politics if he is corrupt.)
Roque was also asked about Gordon pointing out how it was “coincidental” that Duterte’s foreign policy towards China “changed” after Chinese businessman Michael Yang became his economic adviser.
“Alam mo minsan habang humihingi ka ng reaksyon napapatawa na lang ako e,” Roque told the reporter who asked the question.
(You know, sometimes, when you ask for my reaction, I can’t help but just laugh.)
“Nakakatawa naman yun na ang relasyon niya kay Michael Yang can change foreign policy. Hindi po,” he added.
(It’s funny to think that his relationship with Michael Yang will change foreign policy. No.)
According to Duterte’s spokesperson, the Philippine foreign policy depends on the interest of the country.
“Ang ating current foreign policy po, hindi po natin sinusurrender ang ating teritoryo pero isusulong po natin ang pwedeng maisulong sa larangan po ng investment at ng kalakalan,” Roque added.
(Our current foreign policy, we will not surrender our territory but we will push as much as we can for the sake of investments and trade.)
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