By Genalyn Kabiling
San Fernando, Pampanga — Former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has been accused of allegedly giving the bulk of cash subsidies to communist rebels during her stint in government, President Duterte said yesterday.
The President admitted that he received such reports about Taguiwalo, but left it to others to pass judgment on her.
“She was suspected by, hindi naman lahat, but people – hindi rin ano – na the bulk of the money went to, ditong Pantawid, naibigay doon sa mga – ako sinabi ko, naibigay sa mga NPA (She was suspected by, not everyone but people that the bulk of the money went to, the Pantawid funds, went to the NPA (New People’s Army),” the President said during a press conference in Pampanga.
Duterte recalled that his original guidance was for the DSWD to give the assistance to people in need even if they are members of the NPA. But suspicion was rife that NPA rebels were supposedly using the cash subsidies to buy more weapons, Duterte said.
“Baka ‘yung pera, sabi nga ng… Baka naibili ng mga bala o armas (They were using the funds to buy bullets or weapons) because of the pronouncement of Sison that they are expanding, that they are recruiting. So therefore, they would need more arms. They can buy, ambush, steal, or extort, whatever,” he said.
Asked if he thought the DSWD funds have been abused, the President refused to confirm such reports.
“Hindi ko sinabi ’yan. Merong mga reports (I didn’t say that. There were just reports),” he said. “I leave it to the others to pass judgment,” he added.
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