Manila, Philippines - President Rodrigo Duterte led the traditional lighting of the Malacañang Christmas Tree at the Malacañang Palace grounds on Monday evening with around 1,500 guests composed of government officials, other invitees and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa.
President Duterte announced that half of the P5 billion-check that he received from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will be allocated to the Department of Health (DOH) to provide free medicines for the poor and some will also be distributed to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
Per the President, he got the check four days ago and by this time it should be ready for assistance.
“I want every Filipino holding a reseta of a doctor that could not find the money to buy the medicines, sabi ko ibigay niyo yang P2 billion na yan this Christmas,” said President Duterte.
He discussed the ongoing peace talk between the communists groups and the government. He added that he will release political prisoners before Christmas time but only those who are elderly and suffering from incurable diseases.
“If they are ready to be released and will be accepted by the families, I will release them before Christmas time. There’s really no point in detaining persons na matanda na tapos may sakit…It’s a very awkward feeling,” said the Chief Executive.
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Source: Manila Bulletin