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Duterte blames Trump for surging prices: Sino bang presidente ang ‘di nakatikim ng inflation?

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President Rodrigo Duterte belittled the surge in inflation rate to its highest in nearly a decade as he blamed United States President Trump for causing the surge in prices.

In a briefing after his arrival from Jordan, Duterte said: “So I will admit that there is inflation. Sino bang Presidente na hindi nakatikim ng inflation?”

In contrast to Duterte’s nonchalant attitude, his economic managers were scrambling to contain inflation zoomed to 6.4 percent last August, its highest level since 2009 amid calls for their mass resignation due to their failure to anticipate the rise in prices since the implementation of the first phase of Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) since Jaunary this year.

Instead of putting the blame on his Cabinet’s incompetence, Duterte chose to blame Trump for the inflation spiral.

“Sinong nag-umpisa? Amerika. Noong tinaas ng rice ng Amerika, taasan lahat. Ganun ‘yan. Wala tayong magawa diyan. It’s the economy — because America was — Trump wanted it. Pati ‘yung mga taxes na — excise tax, taasan lahat pati imported goods. Kaya ganyan ang nangyari. Noong tinaasan nila ‘yung rates, sabay tayong lahat. Kayo naman ang tigas. When America raised the interest, eh ‘di lahat ‘yan nagtaasan,” said Duterte.

The increase in rice prices has also been blamed for the high inflation rate. But Duterte urged the public not to believe the rice shortage being spread by spinmasters.

“Kagaya niyang mga shortages of rice. We have 4.8 metric tons. Ano ba kayo? Maniwala kayo diyan mga propaganda nila na… Sila ‘yan ‘eh,” said Duterte.