Local officials abusing release of assistance-Duterte

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DAVAO CITY (April 2)— Only the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is allowed to distribute relief goods and financial assistance coming from the government, said President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday night.

This was Duterte’s order following reports that some local officials are abusing the release of assistance to the people in the midst of Luzon-wide community quarantine.

“Tinanggal ko sa politiko kasi maraming reklamo. Tinanggal ko sa politiko ‘yung distribution ng pera pati ang bigas na pagkain,” President Duterte said during his address to the nation Wednesday night.

“Ibinigay ko kay Secretary Bautista lahat na ‘yan kasi itong DSWD may sariling distribution network na ‘yan, ‘yung Pantawid. So, meron. Idagdag na lang nila  doon sa matatanggap doon sa recipient ng Pantawid.”

Presidential Peace Adviser Carlito Galvez will assist the DSWD in providing support to the people, the President said.

In a previous address, the President warned local officials to avoid corruption and to refrain from politicizing the distribution of relief goods and financial support to vulnerable sectors.

As he ordered the immediate distribution of relief goods, the President also made an appeal to the public to help maintain order.

“Mayroon tayong ginawang mga hakbang to sustain us but only if there is order in the society. Kasi ‘pag magulo, walang order, walang distribution na mangyayari kasi inaagaw, ina-ambush,” he said.

“Kaya mapipilitan ako na sabihin: Huwag na huwag ninyong gawin ‘yan kasi I will not hesitate to order to shoot you,” the President further said.

The President likewise warned the Kalipunan ng Damayang Mahihirap (Kadamay), an urban poor organization, not to foment discord as the country battles a pandemic, stressing his government is ready to detain those who will violate the law.

“Intindihin ninyo ‘yan. Kaya huwag kayong maggawa ng kalokohan at mag-riot-riot diyan because I will order you detained at bibitawan ko kayo pagkatapos na wala na itong COVID,” he said. “Huwag ninyong subukan ang Pilipino. Do not try to test it.”

President Duterte also assured the country’s front-liners especially doctors, nurses and other health workers of his support after hearing reports of mistreatment.

 “‘Yung mga tao na gumagawa ng ganun, I am ordering the police to go around. Huwag kayong mag-istambay diyan sa istasyon. Maglakad kayo, tandem, at maghanap kayo ng mga taong bastos,” he said.

“‘Yung mga front-liners, huwag kayong mag-alala. I will support and defend you,” he added.

The country is currently in the third week of a month-long enhanced community quarantine throughout Luzon aimed at containing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

As of Wednesday, the Department of Health (DOH) reported that there are more than 2,000 infected individuals in the country with 96 deaths. -NewsLine

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