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Duterte says gov’t to keep on paying for Hajj trips of Marawi evacuees: Next year by tribe naman!

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President Rodrigo Duterte sees no problem if the government will keep on footing the bill for the pilgrimage of Marawi siege victims to the Mecca.

During a dinner to mark Eid’l Fitr or the end of the holy month of Ramadan Thursday in Davao City (June 6), Duterte said the Muslims in Marawi could go on a hajj or religious pilgrimage by tribe.

“So next year you prepare. By ano na tayo, by tribe. So it’s a… [applause] Sino ‘yung governor doon at sino ‘yung — pati ‘yung opposition,” he said.

Duterte said the government’s budget for the hajj could be split evenly among the administration’s supporters and the opposition.

“So ano lang, it should be by tribe. Start with the major tribes then parang… You go down tag-ano na lang sila. Maybe… I’ll give you an estimate but huwag ninyong ubusin. Magdaan kayo ng Dubai para mag-shopping,” he said.

Duterte made the remark as he defended the use of P5 million in government housing funds for the hajj of Marawi evacuees.

The fund transfer from the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council to the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos had been flagged by the Commission on Audit as an unauthorized expense.

Duterte said the P5 million is a small amount compared to the fulfillment that the Marawi evacuees felt after being able to go on hajj.

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