DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 Nov) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte told the country’s long-time ally, the United States, that “when you are a friend, you do not treat him badly before the public. The US government, he said, should instead help the Philippines find a solution to address the drug menace.
“You do not humiliate an ally,” Duterte said during the opening of the Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation – Phase 1 inside Fort Ramon Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija on Tuesday.
He said that allies should save the friendship at all cost “so that you can help each other in the world of geopolitics.”
He even told the US that it should do something as the country’s ally to help address the problem on drugs, and not criticize it.
“Kung kaibigan mo huwag mo ako pahiyaan, instead of helping me just like this good Samaritan here, who just came out of nowhere and said that he’d help me,” Duterte said. He was referring to 65-year-old real estate billionaire Huang Rulun who donated P1.4 billion to construct the mega rehab facility with 1,000 workers that can accommodate 10,000 patients.
Duterte said his administration has been constrained with a budget that was passed on to him by the administration of former President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“You know, I became president mid-term. I am operating on a budget that was prepared by my predecessor, which was prepared last year. The budget next year is being prepared now, it is in Congress and will become operational next year. When I became president all that’s left for me to spend was the MOOE [Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses]. Saan ako maghanap ng pera? I cannot get the money from AFP and transfer it to [Health Secretary Pauline] Ubial,” he said.
Duterte divulged plans of building another major rehabilitation facility in Visayas using the funds from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR), which remitted about P5 billion to the government.
The President reiterated his warning against drug personalities to stop, as he vowed to continue the campaign against drugs until the last day of his term as president.
“I was very strict in Davao. There are allegation of extrajudicial killings – you know we cannot dwell in the sins, if there are any. We have to dwell on how to improve the situation, especially if that is the country at stake,” Duterte said.
Huang said that he supports the President’ campaign to thwart the proliferation of drugs in the country.
“Drugs wreck the country… It wrecks the society and destroying the people’s minds,” he said.
He said that he donated about P1.4 billion to construct the drug rehab center, which spans across 100,000 square meters.
Huang said the first phase has a floor area of 6,000 square meters which can accommodate around 10,000 patients.
“This is our modest effort to make the Philippines peaceful, stable, and harmonious,” he said.
Huang said that with the warming relations of the Philippines and Chinese President Xi Jinping, “these beautiful islands will set sail again and stand tall in the world. The friendship between China and Philippines will resonate in all areas and too strong to break,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)