Comparing himself to Jesus Christ, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had to go to calvary and be crucified in describing his way from being a reluctant presidential candidate to winning the presidency last May, and now faced with the enormous drug problem in the country.
“So, I endured the…despite or in spite of my explanation, I endured the crucifixion. Sabagay, dalawa lang man kami ni Kristo dito ang dumaan ng ganoon. So, I just swallowed it,” Duterte said during his speech at the signing of the P 3.35-Trillion budget for next year.
Duterte narrated how he was vilified during the gruesome campaign in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections — with the proverbial sink thrown his way until he emerged victorious last May. When he won, Duterte has complained not having enough leeway to use the remaining budget for his for his first six-months in office.
“Just as I have said before, this is not an apology nor an excuse. I went into the presidency midterm. No offense intended but the battlecry of ‘bottoms up’ really ate most of the budget for the year,” he said.
In his war against drugs, Duterte said his hands were tied on the appropriations prepared under the previous Aquino administration.
“Ang naiwan lang sa akin po ay maintenance and operation so that is why ‘yung pumutok, we never expected that the number of addicts would turn out to be hundreds of thousands of surrenderees and I was really helpless. I could not get the money from the other departments and use it for the purpose of another department because I said, that would be paying, stealing from Paul to pay Peter,” he said.
Over his headache on how to treat thousands of drug surrenderees, Duterte said he is grateful for Chinese businessman and philanthropist Huang Rulun. It was Rulun who poured his money for the construction of the Mega-Rehabilitation Center in Nueva Ecija.
“Let me just mention him in passing because he has my endearing love and gratitude. He was a Chinese guy, Huang Rulun. He came here one afternoon. He shook my hands and he said that he’s gonna build us a rehab.” he said.
” But I thought that he would build something like a 200, 300 facility. While it was under construction I was asking people from that area sa Fort Magsaysay and they said that, ‘Mayor, it’s huge…very big.’ So eventually it turned out that it was good for 10,000 people. A beautiful…a beautiful place and a beautiful facility,” Duterte said.
Filipino businessmen such as Andrew Tan, Lucio Tan and Ramon Ang followed suit, the President revealed.
“So, one after another, Megaworld and the rest of the guys, Chinese Federation and Ramon Ang also promised to put up a 2 billion facility or another one maybe sa Mindanao. Ang Visayas lang ang medyo wala pang…well, it is not really clear to me for somebody really with a determination to build one,” he said.