Mayor Sara Duterte: “ayaw lang mog saba” (just don’t tell anyone)

DIGOS CITY (MindaNews / 16 April) – You want to avail of free maintenance medicines and scholarship in Davao City but you are from Davao del Sur?

You can, Mayor Sara Duterte told thousands of supporters who attended the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) provincial rally at Rizal Park here Tuesday afternoon. Just use a Davao City address or use a relative’s or friend’s Davao City address.

The Presidential daughter, who stirred controversy last month by saying honesty “should not be an issue” in the May elections because “all candidates lie,” said Davao City has opened five Botika ng Bayan where residents can avail of free medicines.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte addresses the crowd during a campaign sortie of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago regional party in Digos City on Tuesday, 16 April 2019. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“Ang pinakaduol sa inyo naa sa Toril” (the nearest to you is Toril) in Davao City, about 40 kilometers from Rizal Park here.

“Gamit na lang mo ug address sa Toril, ayaw na lang mog saba didto sa magrelease ug … Kay wala man moy inyoha diri, ana na lang mo ‘ay taga Toril man ko, taga Daliao, Toril man ko.’ Ingna, ‘Doc, ibutang diha Toril, Davao city para kuhaon nako didto sa Toril ang akoang maintenance tambal” (Use an address in Toril, just don’t tell the person releasing and… Because you don’t have one here, just say ‘I am from Toril, from Daliao, Toril.’ Just say, ‘Doc, just put Toril, Davao City [as my address in the prescription] so I can get my maintenance medicines in Toril), the Davao City mayor said.

She told the crowd that if there are problems that cannot be attended to in Davao del Sur, they can approach her and “hanapan nato ug pamaagi” (let’s find a way).

On scholarships, she said if they lack scholarships in Davao del Sur, they have scholarships in Davao City and they can also avail of scholarships there. She taught them how.

“Basin lang nagkulang mo sa mga scholarship diri, naa pud mi scholarship didto. Pangita lang mo ug Davao City nga address sa inyohang kaparyente ug amigo,” (In case you lack scholarships here, we also have scholarships there. Just look for a Davao City address of your relatives and friends),” she said. The crowd laughed.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, chair of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) regional party, addresses the crowd during a campaign sortie in Digos City on Tuesday, 16 April 2019. MindaNews photo by MANMAN DEJETO

“Ayaw lang mog saba nga taga Davao del (Sur) mo kay bawal man gud na sa COA. Bawal sa COA hatagan ug dili ka taga dinha sa imohang siyudad (Don’t tell anyone that you’re from Davao del Sur because that is not allowed by the COA [Commission on Audit]. The COA does not allow that you be given if you are not a resident of that city).

“Ayaw ninyo i-record ni. Bantay lang mo” (Do not record this),” she said at the rally covered by mainstream and social media and by supporters recording her speech on their mobile phones. “Bantay lang mo” literally means ‘you watch out.”

Immediately after saying that, the mayor continued: “Tagai kog mga address didto sa Davao City. Kami nay mangitag pamaagi” (Give me Davao City addresses. We will find a way).

In its July 18, 2018 report, the state-owned Philippine News Agency said the city government launched two days earlier the Botika ng Bayan “where Dabawenyos and non-residents of this city can get free medicines with the help of the Department of Health” (DOH).

The PNA report said the public pharmacy “will also cater to other people from other regions, who seek assistance for medicines from the government.”

“I am very grateful to the Department of Health for helping us establish the Botika ng Bayan. This is a big help to the people especially that the medicines are given here for free,” the report quoted Mayor Duterte as saying.

The report also said she requested the DOH,  through Assistant Secretary Abdullah Dumama, to extend the Botika ng Bayan to the 17 districts of the city and that Dumama vowed to open more Botika ng Bayan in different parts of the country to cater to more Filipinos.

The PNA also quoted Dumama as saying: “For now, patients from other areas may come and ask for medicine at the Botika ng Bayan here in Davao. When the time comes that we have already put up the same project in their area, then they will be referred to their place.”

Part of the crowd that gathered at the Rizal Park in Digos City on 16 April 2019 for the provincial rally of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP) regional party. Candidates and supporters from Davao del Sur’s nine towns and one city attended the afternoon rally. MindaNews photo by CAROLYN O. ARGUILLAS

The report also said the Botika has maintenance medicines “for almost all diseases” and quoted Josephine Mitaran, the person in charge of the city’s Lingap program, as saying,

“We can give as much as a one month supply of medication. The amount of medicine that we will give will depend on the needs of the patient. All they have to do is bring their prescription here.”

Mitaran, according to the PNA report, also said even patients from private hospitals may ask for medicines from the Botika ng Bayan.

The Presidential daughter asked the crowd and the officials present at the rally if they have a Botika ng Bayan in Davao del Sur. Told there was none, she turned to the candidates for the provincial posts, particularly Digos mayor Joseph Penas: “Dapat naa” (There should be) and vowed to help them if they win. “Pag daug na, hatagan ta ka, tabangan ta ka. Buhaton dayon na dinhi sa inyong nasud” (When you win, I will give you, I will help you. We will immediately do that here), she said. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)