5TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF DUTERTE.docx - 5TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE CONGRESS OF

5TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF DUTERTE.docx - 5TH STATE...

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5TH STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS OF RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES TO THE CONGRESS OF THE PHILIPPINES [Delivered at the Session Hall of the House of Representatives, Batasang Pambansa Complex, Quezon City | 27 July 2020] Kindly… Senate President Vicente Sotto III and the honorable members of the Senate; House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and the honorable members of the House of Representatives; Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo; former Presidents Joseph Ejercito Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo; Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta and the justices of the Supreme Court; His Excellency [?] and the esteemed members of the diplomatic corps; Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and the members of the Cabinet; mga mahal kong kababayan. We live in a troubled time. Our dream of prosperity for our country was suddenly snuffed by a pandemic virulent virus. No nation was spared. Neither rich nor poor were exempt from the onslaught of this deadly disease. But let us not despair. The vaccine is around the corner. Sooner and not later, the virus that gobbled up thousands of lives will itself be laid to rest. In the meantime, let us express the nation’s gratitude to those who courageously and willingly put their lives on the line to serve the people and country. We share the griefs of their families and no amount of tears can compensate their great losses. My countrymen, it is sad that while government focuses its attention and resources to battle the coronavirus, there are those who take advantage of a pre-occupied government. One of them is Senator Frank Drilon. In an interview, he arrogantly mentioned among others that oligarchs need not be rich. Then he linked the anti-dynasty system with oligarchy and the topic was my daughter and son. This happened after the Committee on Franchise voted 70-11 to deny the grant of franchise to ABS-CBN. Obviously, he was defending the Lopezes that they are not oligarchs. Great wealth enables economic elites and corporations to influence public policy to their advantage. Media is a powerful tool in the hands of oligarchs like the Lopezes who used their media outlets in their battles with political figures. I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 election. The dealers and purveyors of illegal drugs, hiding in the shadow of COVID-19, have stepped up their activities. The amount of shabu valued at millions of pesos seized during police operations speak volumes of the enormity and weight of the problem that we bear. The corrupt, the grafters and the influence peddlers also take advantage of the fear and confusion that the coronavirus generates. The financial and material assistance of the government to the unemployed, the sick and the destitute running into billions of pesos, are not spared from corruption and ineptitude. Even the donations from well-meaning private persons are skimmed before reaching their intended beneficiaries. It is like snatching food from the mouths of babes.
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