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Duterte ready to lose billions for purchase of local farmers’ rice harvest: Mas mahal pag sumama sila sa NPA

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte has clarified that he did not order to suspend the importation of rice.

“I have been greatly misunderstood. At ang sinabi ko, we have to import because the producer cannot fill up the requirements, it’s lacking,” Duterte said Friday, three days after ordering Agriculture Secretary William Dar to suspend rice importation until the end of the harvest season.

In his speech delivered in Sarangani, Duterte said he directed Dar to buy rice from local farmers to help them cope with the entry of imported rice into the country.

“Bilihin talaga natin lahat ‘yung kanila. Before we venture into this rice tariffication imports. My duty is not to the businessmen. I have nothing to do with them. I don’t care what happens to them. I care about the people and I said, “Buy this because you are buying social unrest,” according to him.

Duterte also reiterated that he does not mind losing billions in buying all the produce of local farmers.

“But then allow them a leeway of comfort in life. So who bears the burden? The Filipino people. We lose. Yes, we lose. How many billions? Five, six, seven billions. So what? It’s our money. It’s our money. And we are, I said, buying social unrest. It’s more expensive to deal with, especially if these guys would join the NPA,” he said.

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