“GIVE rice instead of gifts of Rolex.”
President Rodrigo Duterte offered this advice to gift-givers this Yuletide even as he told Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol that he could have purchased rice for the people using the Rolex watch he received as Christmas gift instead of returning it.
“Kaya si Piñol nagyayabang na at bakit naman niya isauli ang Rolex?” Duterte said in his speech at the anniversary of Federalismo Alyansa of Bicol (FAB) at the Legazpi City Convention Center, Legazpi City, Albay Thursday evening.
“Sabihin mo kay Piñol, ilang Rolex ba ang ... how about the others? Siguro mga coming Christmas, isauli ninyo lahat iyan? Ibigay n’yo sa akin, ipagbili ko, ibili ko ng bigas, ipakain ko sa mga tao,” he said and the crowd applauded.
Duterte added that during his time as a mayor of Davao City, he would urge gift-givers to give him rice or viands and send them to some communities.
“Pero ako sa Davao, every Christmas, sasabihin ko na alam ko madaming magbigay, mayor eh. Hindi mo talaga maiwasan ‘yan. Sabi ko, ‘Huwag na kayong magbigay sa akin. Bigyan n’yo ‘ko ng bigas. Kung gusto ninyo magbigay sa akin, bigas.’ O pagkatapos niyan, ‘O, sige ipadala mo doon sa ano.’ ‘Yan... bigas o ulam,” he said.
Pinol posted on his Facebook that after returning the Rolex watch worth P450,000 price tag, he felt relieved that he could look anyone straight in the eye because he was following Duterte’s directive that no one in government should be linked to corruption.
Meanwhile, Duterte in his speech vowed that he will issue an anti-corruption directive which he will elaborate on later.