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No talk on Anti-Terror Bill, Duterte focuses on OFWs and corruption in latest address

No talk on Anti-Terror Bill, Duterte focuses on OFWs and corruption in latest address


In an address to the nation aired today, Jun. 5, President Rodrigo Duterte asked about the distribution of compensation to the healthcare workers who have been infected or died of COVID-19. According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, health workers’ families critically affected have yet to be given P1 million each. 

“Nakakahiya talaga, Sir, eh, namatayan na nga [tapos]…Mga tao ko na parang walang sense of urgency, Sir,” said Duque, blaming his subordinates for the delay. However, he assured the President that the Department of Health will comply with the law-mandated benefits of these healthcare workers.

The president, after expressing his dismay over the two-month delay of the compensation process, ordered Duque to form a new team that will focus on the immediate delivery of compensation to families of healthcare workers who died and were infected.

In line with this, Duterte vowed to go after those who may be engaged in malversation of public funds and warns the public from buying personal protective equipment from online stores. He said that he will tie up, gag and hurl scammers into the Pasig River. 

“Mga kababayan do not fall for that thing na online-online,” Duterte said. “It has never been perfected and all of the scams that man can think of that they can perpetrate on the innocent public. Pinag-aaralan nila ‘yan.”


Repatriation of OFWs

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explained that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) have to stay in Manila for five days. He said that the testing facilities for OFWs are ready all over Metro Manila. According to Department of Labor and Employment Secretary Bello, 42,000 OFWs are still expected to return. Lorenzana then added that 24,000 repatriates already returned home to their provinces. They are aiming to allow entrance of 1,500 OFWs a day. 


On the social amelioration program

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año stated that 155 barangay officials are being investigated for corruption. According to him, five million households who were left out in the first distribution of the social amelioration program (SAP) will be prioritized in the second tranche (4,094,311 names have already been submitted by the local government units). Año also stated that almost 99 percent of the first tranche of SAP has been distributed.

Duterte, along with Año, also disagreed with Cebu governor Gwen Garcia’s decision to allow back riding in motorcycles. He also condemned an alleged illegal drug shipment from a Mexican drug cartel and congratulated the Philippine National Police for this successful buy bust operation. He ended the speech reminding the public to wait for a vaccine before allowing classes to start.

There was no mention of the passing of the publicly condemned Anti-Terror Bill, which the President certified as urgent last Jun. 1.

Yesterday, Jun. 4, activists at University of the Philippines – Diliman protested against the 173 yes votes of the House on the bill. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet also spoke against censorship in many Asian countries, including the Philippines. 



Header photo courtesy screengrabbed from Presidential Communications Operations Office

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