Duterte urged: Focus on economy, not politics, in national address


Posted at Sep 11 2018 11:18 AM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte should discuss what the government is doing to address record-high inflation in his national address later Tuesday, detained Senator Leila de Lima said.

In a statement hours before Duterte's scheduled speech, De Lima said any attempt by the President to veer away from the economic issues will just be a distraction.

"Any attempt shift the focus of the national conversation away from our failing economy will just be cheap gimmicks to distract us from holding him and his administration accountable for the dire situation that we are in now," she said.

De Lima said Filipinos want to know about the government's response to the rising inflation, unemployment, and the preparations for a potential "super typhoon."

The senator said she hopes the President will not use his live broadcast to play politics.

"Now is not the time for the President to play politics. Now is the time for the President to respect and uphold the Constitution. Now is the time for the President to at least attempt to govern." said De Lima.

Duterte earlier claimed that Liberal Party, communist rebels and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were in cahoots over the alleged ouster plot that will "go into high gear" in October.

The President has recently ordered the nullification of Trillanes' amnesty for his failure to meet its requirements. The case has been brought before the Supreme Court.

Both LP and Trillanes denied the ouster claims, calling Duterte paranoid. Communist leader Jose Maria Sison believes Duterte is just diverting people's attention away from the real problems facing the country.