Roxas: Duterte should address wealth questions, so gov’t can tackle important issues

Micole Gerard Tizon
Given the effects of El Niño, the government should prioritize giving farmers automatic membership in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, says the opposition senatorial candidate

MARKET STOPS. Otso Diretso senatorial candidate Mar Roxas takes his 'Mr Palengke' campaign to Cebu City on April 8, 2019. He visited the Carbon Public Market. Photo by Micole Gerard Tizon/Rappler

CEBU CITY, Philippines Otso Diretso senatorial bet Mar Roxas said on Monday, April 8, the issues around the alleged unexplained wealth of President Rodrigo Duterte and his children could be easily addressed – explain the inconsistencies. 

Once these questions are addressed, he said, the administration can move on to tackle more important issues confronting the country, like the El Niño.  

“Para sa akin, itong mga isyu na ito ay madali naman ang paliwanag diyan, ‘no?,” Roxas told reporters in Cebu City. (For me, these issues could be easily explained.)

He was asked to comment on the series published by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) questioning the business interests of Duterte, her daughter mayor Sara, and congressional candidate son Paolo, as well as the huge increases in their wealth over the years, as indicated in their Statement of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN). 



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The President slammed the PCIJ on April 7 for its report on his family’s wealth, accusing the investigative journalism organization of being motivated by money. He also said his family’s wealth was no one’s business. 

The PCIJ responded, saying Duterte should explain his wealth instead of losing his cool.

Roxas echoed this, and suggested that the President should address the inconsistencies in the wealth declaraions to allow the administration to focus on more important issues.  

“Ang importante dito ay yung mga mas mahalagang isyu tungkol nga sa El Niño,” Roxas said. (What’s important here are issues like El Niño.)

He added that, aside from El Niño, which prompted the local government to declare a state of calamity in the province, the national government should prioritize the automatic membership of farmers in the government’s conditional cash transfer Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps). 

“Halimbawa, gawin natin silang automatic na 4Ps members, para may pantawid sila, hanggang makapagtanim sila, hanggang sa dumating ang tag-ulan at makapagtanim sila ulit…. Yan para sa akin ang mga importanteng issue dahil yan ang nararanasan ng ating kababayan.” Roxas said. 

(For example, let’s make them automatically 4Ps members so they have something to get them through until they can plant again. For me those are the important issues that affect our countrymen.)

Roxas was in the vote-rich province of Cebu to campaign at the popular Carbon Public Market in downtown Cebu City. 

The city is home to at least 700,000 registered voters of the province’s total 3 million voters. Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña supported Roxas’ candidacy for presidency in 2016. Roxas lost that election to Duterte. 

While Roxas lost to Duterte in Cebu in 2016, his running mate and current Vice President Leni Robredo won in Cebu against Duterte’s running mate Alan Peter Cayetano and Duterte ally Ferdinand Marcos Jr. 

After leaving the Carbon market, Roxas continued his campaign in the southern town of Carcar at the town’s public market.  

On Tuesday, April 9, he was set to campaign in Bogo City in the north. –