Duterte vows to continue support for sports programs

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 April) – President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday assured the country’s young athletes of government’s continued support to the sports programs to help them hone their potentials.

In his speech during the opening of the 62nd Palarong Pambansa (National Games) at the Davao City-UP Mindanao Sports Complex on Sunday, Duterte recognized the importance of sports as an effective avenue “to instill among the youth essential characteristics for nation-building such as discipline, teamwork, and perseverance.”

“Let me assure you that the government will continue to promote physical education and other relevant sports programs that will support our athletes in reaching for their dreams and aspirations,” he said.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte beats the gong to officially declare the opening of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa at the Davao City-UP Sports Complex on April 28, 2019. JOEY DALUMPINES/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

He added that the government would empower more Filipino athletes to stand out in their respective fields and eventually bring pride to the country as they compete in international sporting events such as the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be held in the country from November 30 to December 11, 2019.

Duterte also enlisted the support of the young athletes in his administration’s campaign against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption, for the next generation.

“This administration remains determined in pursuing [its] campaign to eradicate illegal drugs, criminality and corruption. I need your support, our young athletes, in this endeavor if we are to ensure a safe and progressive future for the next generation of Filipinos,” he said.

He said development and progress would not prosper in the country when graft and corruption continues to linger in the government while the illegal drugs enslave their users, resulting in dysfunctional families and crimes.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the opening ceremony of the 2019 Palarong Pambansa at the Davao City-UP Sports Complex on April 28, 2019. ARMAN BAYLON/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

“The last thing that I will do for my country if I go to hell to burn to eternity, so be it. Eh kung — if they want me hanged or face a firing squad, I will be happy that I died for the next generation of Filipinos so that they’ll have a comfortable life,” Duterte said.

The President reiterated his warning to kill anyone attempting to destroy the country and its youth through illegal drugs.

“That is why I said to you now and I said it before: Do not destroy our country. And to the foreigners, I would say to them, do not destroy the Philippines and do not destroy the youth of my land, papatayin ko talaga kayo (I will kill you),” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)