Palace: Duterte’s ‘kid­nap, tor­ture’ re­mark vs COA just a ‘joke’

Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Top Stories -

MALA­CAÑANG on Wed­nes­day, Jan­uary 9, once again de­fended Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte over his “joke” to kid­nap and tor­ture state au­di­tors.

Pres­i­den­tial Spokesper­son Sal­vador Panelo said Duterte’s pro­nounce­ment against the per­son­nel of Com­mis­sion on Au­dit (COA) should be taken lightly since the Chief Ex­ec­u­tive was “ob­vi­ously crack­ing a joke.”

“Masyado na­mang ob­vi­ous na nag­pa­p­atawa lang yun re­gard­ing the COA (Re­gard­ing [Duterte’s] re­mark on COA, it’s too ob­vi­ous that he’s just jok­ing),” the Palace of­fi­cial said.

Duterte, in a speech de­liv­ered in Pasay City on Tues­day, Jan­uary 9, joked that “kid­nap­ping” and “tor­tur­ing” COA ex­ec­u­tives would serve as a good pun­ish­ment, as they make it dif­fi­cult for gov­ern­ment of­fices to de­liver im­me­di­ate ba­sic ser­vices to the peo­ple.

COA, a state au­dit agency, is tasked to pro­mul­gate ac­count­ing and au­dit­ing rules and reg­u­la­tions to pre­vent any ir­reg­u­lar or ex­ces­sive uses of gov­ern­ment funds.

Prior to the Pres­i­dent’s lat­est state­ment, he joked in Septem­ber last year to push state au­di­tors down the stairs to pre­vent them from giv­ing a re­port on gov­ern­ment trans­ac­tions.

Panelo said Duterte only made the re­mark against COA per­son­nel to taunt them be­cause they are op­posed to the gov­ern­ment’s pol­icy to ren­der prompt de­liv­ery of gov­ern­ment ser­vices.

He stressed that it was not new for the Pres­i­dent to be “mis­chievous and ir­rev­er­ent” when it comes to his crit­ics.

“Iyang si Pres­i­dente, pareho lang kami niyan, su­til ang tawag dun, which means pag-ayaw mo o ki­nokon­tra mo yung gi­na­gawa namin na sa panini­wala namin hindi na­man masama o il­le­gal, eh

lalo nam­ing gagawin para asarin o in­isin yung komokon­tra o nag-krikri­tiko sa amin,” Panelo said.

(The Pres­i­dent and I have the same style. It’s be­ing mis­chievous, which

means if you don’t like our acts that could not be con­sid­ered wrong or il­le­gal, we will re­ally taunt

or mock those who are crit­i­ciz­ing us.)

“The more you crit­i­cize his style, the more he will stick to his mis­chief and ir­rev­er­ence. But at the same time, [Duterte] is chid­ing COA not to de­rail on­go­ing gov­ern­ment pro­jects by cer­tain strin­gent pro­to­cols that go against the let­ter and in­tent of the law,” he added. (SunS­tar Philip­pines)

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