Did Abella bust Andanar’s statement about P2-B aid from Duterte? Palace spokesmen gave contradicting statements

When President Rodrigo Duterte said that he is going to set aside P2 billion for aid, his key spokespersons did not seem to agree on where the president intended to spend the money.

During Duterte’s visit to Surigao City on February 11 after the earthquake, he reportedly promised to release funds to help the victims who lost loved ones and sources of livelihood and even asked the crowd if P2 billion would be enough. The media covered this, saying that the President would release P2 billion to the earthquake victims.


Andanar’s Interpretation

However, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar carried on February 14 that Duterte meant to help those who are affected by the closing of over 20 mining firms, as ordered by DENR, for violating environmental laws.

In an interview over dzRH, Andanar said:

“I would like to clarify that. The President was saying that in the context of the mining. Sabi niya kung isasara iyong mining, mawawalan ng trabaho iyong tao. Okay. Kung mawawalan ng trabaho iyong tao eh magbibigay siya.”

Andanar also said that Duterte brought up the P1 billion he already released to DSWD and the other P1 billion that the president promised to release for further assistance.

He insisted that Duterte was talking about those affected by the mining firms closure, saying:


“Iyong 2 billion, ang sinabi, ‘Itong 2 billion okay na ba?” Ito iyong binanggit ni Presidente, when he was talking in the context of mining problem, na kapag naisara ito mangangailangan ng trabaho iyong tao.”

“Iyon ang pagkakaintindi ko. Kasi iyon ang pinag-uusapan ng Presidente, he was talking about the mining problem all throughout, tapos in-insert niya iyong 2 billion,” Andanar said.

GMA News Online pointed out how President Duterte also mentioned in the same speech how he could not do anything to stop DENR Secretary Gina Lopez from suspending and ordering the closure of 28 mining firms.

Abella’s Interpretation

Abella made his own interpretation of Duterte’s statement about providing aid during a press briefing.

He translated Duterte’s speech in Visayan and translated them into English.

“I will translate literally: ‘I will release a little money, OK. So please use it carefully, especially for those who lost their lives.’ Or it can also be translated as ‘those who lost properties and their lives,” Abella said.

Continuing his translation of the President’s speech, he said, “’Is two billion enough?… I don’t think you can finish that. I don’t think you can use all of that.’ And then he said again in the same light-hearted manner: ‘Bilhan ninyo na lang sila ng bahay sa subdivision (Buy them houses in the subdivision).’”

Further explaining his interpretation of Duterte’s speech in Surigao City, Abella said:

“The essence of the statement is not the P2 billion but the essence of the statement is that he would release the monies and the funds to supply the needs of those affected by the earthquake. The primary source is PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte), and PRRD made a commitment to meet their needs. And (in) this sense, I understand where you’re coming from that the figure is important. However, the collective intent of the President is to provide for all their needs, survivors of the earthquake.”

As for contradicting Andanar’s earlier interpretation of Duterte’s statement, Abella said:

“I’m not saying he relayed the wrong info… I’m not saying that’s not true that if you need further clarification of that part of the communication, you may refer to him.”

This is not the first time the President’s men have differing statements on certain issues, which was why Senator Panfilo Lacson told the president’s spokespersons last year to speak “in one tone and language.”

As for interpreting Duterte’s statements, Abella once told the media to not take everything that the President said literally and to instead “use our creative imagination.”

Sources: ( , ,  )


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Korean embassy slammed Aguirre

Busted: Korean embassy slammed Aguirre for making “misleading statements” about Korean mafia

Benigno Aquino III died

Busted: PNoy died in California hospital? It’s a death hoax!