PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday called on the media to back off from reporting drug-related killings and instead dig up on the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP)—the economic stimulus scheme of the previous Aquino administration declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Duterte made the statement following a visit to soldiers in Cagayan de Oro, saying that murdered drug suspects, including Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, should not be mourned as they had destroyed the nation.
“Why is the media always going after my government? Why don’t you dig in on [former Budget secretary Florencio]Abad and what he did about DAP? They still continued DAP even if there was an ‘unconstitutional’ ruling; like it’s nobody’s business. I want to expose all of these, even those involving [Senator Antonio] Trillanes. I will expose them all,” Duterte said in a news conference.
Abad had been charged by the Ombudsman for usurping legislative authority for issuing orders on DAP, but escaped heavier charges such as technical malversation. Trillanes is one of the President’s staunchest critics.
The DAP, declared illegal by the Supreme Court in 2014, is a spending program that allowed agencies under the Executive branch to declare their unspent appropriations as savings anytime and subsequently realign the funding to the Aquino administration’s priority projects and those proposed by lawmakers.
The Supreme Court ruling on DAP declared illegal the withdrawal of unobligated allotments from implementing agencies, the declaration of withdrawn unobligated allotments and unreleased appropriations as savings, and the transfer of savings to other branches of government, such as the legislature.
The President again trained his guns on the owners of Philippine Daily Inquirer, claiming that a son-in-law of the Prietos, who own the paper, spends public money when travelling abroad.
“If one of my children is involved in corruption and you published it, I promise you, you will have my resignation,” Duterte said.
Duterte also cursed at the European Union and human rights groups for criticizing his unqualified support for policemen, including those charged in connection with the killing of Espinosa.
“Why grieve for the mayors who died along the way, including this lousy man who was destroying half of the Visayas because of shabu, making them crazy by the thousands, hundreds, and you joke with me with human rights? Never mind, I take full responsibility,” Duterte said.
“The war on drugs is for self preservation. We have to preserve the nation. A drug pusher is always a user. When you are a drug user, you are a pusher. And yet the priests are saying I am only killing the poor. Only the poor are killed? Rich people around take years before they earn their first million. It could take five to 10 years. But those who cook shabu become billionaires in two months,” Duterte said.
Duterte also called on the media to report the success of his administration in fighting insurgency, noting that the government was in talks with the National Democratic Front and the Moro National Liberation Front.
“We are already winning the fight [against insurgency]. Why is it that it is not being reported enough?” Duterte said.