President Duterte leads gift-giving to local officials in Davao City

Christmas holidays for village chiefs and councilmen in Davao City will be merry and bright as President Rodrigo Duterte surprised them with various gifts.??

President Duterte announced on Tuesday night that he would give each barangay captain in his home province Php10,000 cash gifts and Php3,000 for every barangay councilman. They will also receive grocery packs from the Chief Executive.

??He explained that the money will come from campaign contribution that he tried to return but was not accepted by the donor during the last election.??

"Then ingon sila nga imo na lang na for charitable or whatever. So ako na lang na ihatag sa inyo (They told me that I can have the money for charitable or whatever. So, I will just give it to you.)," he told local officials gathered at the Almendras Gym in Davao City.??

Duterte served as mayor of Davao City for 23 years before being elected as President last May.?

?In his speech, the President also announced that he has instructed the military and the police not to arrest Moros and communist rebels wanting to be with their families this holiday season.

??"I told you, Christmas Day. I told the military and the police, not to arrest -- mga rebelde bumaba kayong lahat, NPA commanders and I will guarantee you mga MI/MN (MILF/MNLF), 'wag lang 'yung terorista," the President said in a speech at a gathering with barangay officials in Davao City.

??"Ayaw ko talaga, hindi ako makiusap sa mga taong 'yan. Wag mo lang akong bigyan ng terorista pati iyong mga durugista, you can go out lalo na iyong mga NPA matagal na hindi nakauwi doon sa pamilya nila," he further said.??

His invitation for the rebels to go down from the mountains is for the entire Philippines, he said adding he will guarantee that they will not be arrested.??

"Just spend Christmas with your family and let us have a peaceful New Year. Tutal wala naman tayong kontra," he added.??

The President also renewed his call for the adoption of a federal system of government.

If Congress can craft federal system of government, he said he is willing to step down from power if a plebiscite is successful.??

A federal form of government is the only way to solve Mindanao's secessionist problem, he stressed.??

At the same time, the President reiterated his pronouncement that he would not tolerate corruption in his administration. Like his other messages, he told Davao barangay officials that he will not change his stance in the ongoing drug war.

??The President vowed to continue the fight against illegal drugs until the last pusher and drug lord is out of the streets.

??"Look at Davao now. Alam mo ang growth rate ng Davao? Nine. The highest in the Philippines. Nine. Because we made a stand, ayaw ko ng criminal, ayaw ko ng droga," he said.

Source: Philippines News Agency