Roxas, Duterte clash on PhilHealth aid
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte accepted Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas’s dare to withdraw from the presidential race if the latter would prove that Davao City indeed benefited from the government’s PhilHealth insurance.
“Mayor Duterte, I dare you. Kung may mapakita akong tao, pangalan, hospital na talagang natulungan sa Davao City, ikaw ba ay aatras?” Roxas asked the feisty mayor, who in turn answered in the affirmative.
The two figured in a verbal clash anew during the last presidential debate at the Phinma-University of Pangasinan in Dagupan City on Sunday when the candidates were asked about their plans to bring health assistance to the poor living in far-flung provinces.
It started when Duterte questioned Roxas’s statement about the nearly 100-percent Filipinos who are covered by PhilHealth benefits, saying Roxas and the Aquino administration are only making empty promises to the people.
Roxas answered: “Siguro kathang isip ito ni Duterte dahil totoo na may mga natutulungan ang PhilHealth sa Davao City.”
The former Interior secretary then challenged Duterte that at 8 a.m. on Monday, he will give the mayor a list of Davaoeños who received health assistance from the government.
He told the mayor, his friend-turned-foe, not to ignore the truth he is presenting as it is supported by facts and data.
“Kasi ang problema dito, kapag hindi mo pinasok at pinaniwalaiaan ang aktwal na facts at datos ay babaliwaalain mo. Eto ang mga katotohanan so doon tayo sa katotohanan. Huwag nating lokohin mga kababayan na walang nangyayari. Ang katotohanan pinakabasehan ng kahit anong pamumuno,” he said.
But a skeptic Duterte shrugged off Roxas’s dare and asked the audience if they believe Roxas’s claims.
A visibly irked Roxas then told the audience and young viewers: “Eto ‘yung style ni Duterte. Sa mga kabataan, ‘wag nating tularan ito.”
He then criticized the mayor for flipflopping and his habit of diverting the issue whenever he starts to run out of bullets.
“Mayor Duterte, may sasabihin tapos kung palagan siya o kung pakitaan siya ng facts, aatras, magsasabi ng ibang isyu. Itong hamon ko simpleng simple. Sinabi ko ‘to, sinabi niya oo. May mapapakita ako, actual naka-video na mga tao na natulungan ng PhilHealth sa Davao City. Libo libo po ‘yan, sinabi niya aatras siya, tignan natin kung tutuparin niya sinabi niya,” said Roxas.
Duterte, unfazed by Roxas’s remarks, changed the topic and brought up the latter’s lackluster performance in the surveys.
“Si Secretary Roxas, hindi nagpapaiwan, kung totoo talaga ang sinasabi mo, bakit ka huli sa rating?” the mayor said.
Given by moderator Karen Davila a chance to respond to Duterte, Roxas said: “Simpleng simple lang. Nakikita ng mga kababayan ang asal mo mayor na hindi ka karapat dapat. Kaya sa May 9 ang mananalo ang matuwid. Ang mananalo ang disente. Mananalo ang karapat dapat. Walang iba kung hindi si Mar Roxas,” he said.
An irritated Duterte replied: “Susmaryosep!” IDL
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