Newly elected officers of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP), Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB), and League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) were sworn in by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday assuring them of equal distribution of government money particularly on infrastructure spending.
Addressing the newly elected officials of LCP and LNB, the President introduced acting Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado, adding the new budget chief can act as intermediary between him and local executives.
“Wendel is just a worker. You can go to him. If there’s a really need for you to tell him, just tell them. Just tell anybody, ‘Del, can I talk to the President?,’” he told the local officials.
“The money of the people of the Republic of the Philippines will be equally divided…‘yung proportionately. Pero makita ninyo ang pinakamaraming infrastructure dito sa Luzon and sa mga Visayas…the airports there. Ang Mindanao, sabi ko maybe towards the end of my term kung may maiwan pa.”
He praised the three members of his Cabinet—Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez—for their excellent performance.
The Chief Executive also made an assurance that he would defend local officials from prosecution and harassment similar to the protection he has extended to the members of the police and the military for as long as those are in connection with the performance of their duties.
“If there’s anything…kung kaso…if it is in the performance of your duty, do not worry. I will defend you to death. Lakarin ko basta performance of duty, lalo na sa pulis pati ‘yung sa mga military. Pati kayo, so that you can do your duty without fear na matakot kayo,” he said.
The President also discussed national security Tuesday, saying the implementation of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) has resulted in lesser violence in the region.
He said that if he could fix things up with Nur Misuari’s Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the remaining major threats would only be the New People’s Army (NPA), drug syndicates, and terrorist organizations.
President Duterte also separately led the oath taking of the officers of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) held at the Malacañang’s Heroes Hall.
In his speech, the President vowed to protect the Filipino-Chinese community from corruption, noting that those who are doing business in the country will be treated fairly by his administration.
The Chief Executive also told the FFCCCII members that the government will go after those involved in kidnapping-for-ransom who victimize Filipino-Chinese businessmen.
At the same time, the President reiterated his pledge that he would never allow any foreign troops or nuclear armaments be stationed in the country’s territory, in Pag-asa Island or elsewhere.
“You have my solid promise that I will never allow any foreign troops. Hindi lang Amerikano sabi ko. I will never allow them in my land,” he said. PND