Lacson echoes Agot on Duterte: ‘Kung gusto mo magutom, magutom ka mag-isa’

Camille Elemia
Lacson echoes Agot on Duterte: ‘Kung gusto mo magutom, magutom ka mag-isa’
'Sa isang banda, si Agot Isidro may sense [ang] sinasabi... Kung sumama ang ekonomiya, madadamay lahat na karamihan ng Pilipino na magugutom,' says Senator Panfilo Lacson

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Panfilo Lacson echoed some of the sentiments of actress Agot Isidro on President Rodrigo Duterte’s stance against the West.

Isidro, on October 7, posted on Facebook her frustration with Duterte’s dare to the United States and European Union to withdraw their aid from the Philippines.

Part of Isidro’s post went: “Yung bansa kung saan ka iniluklok ng 16 million out of 100+ million people ay Third World. Kung makapagsalita ka parang superpower ang Pilipinas eh. At excuse me, ayaw namin magutom. Mag-isa ka na lang. Wag kang mandamay. Hindi na nga nakakain ang nakararami, gugutumin mo pa lalo.”

(The country where you were elected by 16 million out of 100-plus million people is considered Third World. With the way you speak, it seems like you think the Philippines is a superpower. Excuse me, we do not want to go hungry. Just be hungry alone. Don’t drag us into it. Many Filipinos are already unable to eat and here you are planning to make them more famished.)

For Lacson, there is some “sense” to the actress’ statement. The senator was reacting to the recent trust ratings of the President, which he linked to Duterte’s controversial foreign policy statements, especially against the US.

“Maraming maaapektuhan, hindi lang ang foreign policy, pati ang ating ekonomiya puwede tamaan eh. Sa isang banda, si Agot Isidro may sense [ang] sinasabi. Kung gusto mo magutom, magutom ka mag-isa, ‘wag mo kami idamay. Kung sumama ang ekonomiya, madadamay lahat na karamihan ng Pilipino na magugutom,” Lacson told reporters on Wednesday, October 12.

(Many will be affected, not just foreign policy but the economy as well. On one hand, Agot Isidro’s statement made sense. If you want to go hungry, go hungry alone and don’t drag us into it. If the economy will suffer, most Filipinos will get hungry.)

“Ang mga pronouncement na sa tingin ko ‘di talaga nakakatulong. Hindi naman talaga gagawin. Sinabi na puputulin bilateral ties or joint exercises then babawiin, na ‘di talaga ganoon ibig sabihin, walang planong i-abrogate ang Mutual Defense Treaty. Anong maitutulong noon?” he added.

(His pronouncements, I think, are not helping. And then he’s not going to follow through in the end. He said we will cut bilateral ties or joint exercises with the US then the government later retracted it. He will say there’s no plan to abrogate the Mutual Defense Treaty. What good would that do?)

The senator said the economy might suffer with Duterte’s antagonistic stance to the US and the EU, which have continuously assisted the Philippines. (READ: Drilon: Constant insults vs allies could put $3-B aid in jeopardy)

Economy affected

Lacson said there is no need to cut ties with the West just to boost ties with China, which suffered under the Aquino administration.

It was former president Benigno Aquino III who filed an arbitration case against China over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

“Anong epekto nito sa ating ekonomiya? Dahil mag-shi-shift tayo from Western countries like US and EU, at papasok tayo, pupunta tayo toward Russia and China. ‘Di kailangan i-cut ang ties natin with the US,” he said.

(What’s the effect on our economy because we are shifting from Western countries like the US and EU and leaning towards Russia and China? We don’t need to cut ties with the US.)

Lacson said the US, EU, and the United Kingdom have greatly helped the country recover from disasters.

This is contrary to Duterte’s earlier pronouncements that the US and EU have not helped the Philippines.

“Sa Yolanda lang katakot-takot ang naitulong ng EU, particularly UK, sila pinaka-malaking tulong. Ang US agad-agad naka-respond. Doon natin i-base kasi very recent ‘yan, ang kalamidad na talagang unprecedented. Tapos ang laki ng tulong nila, ng EU, US. ‘Di puwedeng sabihing wala silang nagawang tulong sa atin,” he said.

(With Yolanda alone, the EU, particularly the UK, has greatly helped us. The US immediately responded. Let’s base it on that because that’s very recent, the calamity was very unprecedented. But their help was really massive. It can’t be said that they did not help us at all.)

Donations from the UN, EU, and the US in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda reached $231,587,655 (P11.19 billion) or 26.77% of the total foreign aid received by the Philippines. (READ: What Typhoon Yolanda foreign aid looks like without US, EU, and UN)

Lacson was appointed Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery following the disaster in late 2013. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com