PRRD to barangay leaders: 'Just follow the law, I'll defend you'

By EJ Roque

January 9, 2019, 9:49 am

MANILA -- President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Tuesday vowed to defend barangay leaders as long as they are following the law in the performance of their duty.

"Basta ako (As far as I am concerned), I am asking you, I cannot help you if it is graft and corruption. But I can help you in cases na in-enforce ninyo ang batas tapos masabit kayo (which you merely enforced the law and you got sued)," Duterte said in his address to barangay leaders at the National Capital Region (NCR) Barangay Summit on Peace and Order in Pasay City.

The President said he will protect local officials, regardless of party affiliation, as long as they tell the truth.

"Hindi na kailangan kapartido tayo. Sabi ko, wala naman akong hiningi sa iyo, wala ka naman hiningi sa akin, ‘di tabla. (We do not need to be partymates. I said, I did not ask anything from you and you did not ask anything from me, so it's equal)," he said.

Duterte added that he has also been fair in dealing with his political allies tagged in corruption allegations.

"Usually political ganun, maski sabihin mo kakampi ko PDP (even if a person is my ally in PDP-Laban) … I would always tell you be fair. I will not be a party to any injustice. Never," he said.

Duterte said it is not his nature to persecute political opponents.

About 4,000 barangay and local government officials in Metro Manila convened in the Barangay Summit on Peace and Order held in Cuneta Astrodome where they discussed government measures to fight illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

The President is known to fire officials in his administration, including allies, allegedly involved in graft and corruption. (PNA)