PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte late Monday reminded local government authorities not to use the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis for their own gain.
Duterte warned there will be sanctions for those who will steal or politicize the distribution of food packs to their constituents affected by the enhanced community quarantine.
“I will see to it even tomorrow, if I discover some embezzlements, some hoarding there, at dina-divert ‘yung pagkain sa mga tao na dapat hindi sa kanila, you better think. I am not a cruel man. Pero kung may report ang pulis, I will order your detention hanggang matapos itong COVID-19,” Duterte said in his televised address.
“Sabi ko huwag ngayon. Huwag na huwag kayong mandaya, mangurakot at taguin ‘yung mga pagkain at ‘yung iba hindi bigyan kasi… You know, people sometimes think that they own whatever they receive from government. This is not yours, neither is it mine," he added.
The said actions will be taken against local officials who are caught taking advantage of the health crisis.
"Pero kung mamulitika ka tapos mabalitaan ko na ‘yan ang nagawa mo, I will suspend you ora mismo. And for those who are really absconding the money, I will detain you, I said, and maybe I will release you pagkatapos ng COVID.”
Duterte made the statement as his administration embarked on what he called as the “largest and widest social protection program in the country’s history,” allotting as much as P200 billion in social protection measures for the poor who are most affected by the government-imposed lockdowns to prevent the community spread of COVID-19.