Pulong Duterte, Migs Nograles face off over DSWD funds

Pulong Duterte, Migs Nograles face off over DSWD funds

MANILA, Philippines — Davao City Rep. Paolo “Pulong” Duterte has accused the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) of not releasing funds needed for his district—hence a recent notice that medical and burial assistance provisions are temporarily suspended.

Duterte in a statement on Tuesday also disputed PBA party-list Rep. Margarita “Migs” Norgrales’ clarification regarding the issue in which the lady lawmaker said in a previous Facebook post that the notice posted in a Davao government office about the services’ suspension is misinformation because DSWD has enough funds.

According to Duterte, they never mentioned that the DSWD lacked funds; rather, their issue is with the DSWD’s alleged refusal to release these funds.

READ: Nograles to vote for rival Duterte in 2016

“I have no reason to withhold what is meant for the people. In my few years as a congressman here in Davao, especially during the pandemic, everyone knows about the aid we distributed, which exceeded what the current administration provided, including my personal funds,” Duterte said.

“In my office, we never claimed that DSWD lacked funds. Instead, it is my office that DSWD has ceased to release funds to, and we have consistently communicated this to the people of Davao City and apologized for the situation. There is no black propaganda in that, Madam Congresswoman,” he added.

READ: Duterte appoints Nograles as CSC chairman; vacates IATF and Cabinet secretary posts

Duterte also claimed that public funds appear to have been used for politics.

“You all know the current situation; this is not fake news! You can verify it in the DSWD records themselves. It’s clear now that there has been an exaggeration. It’s clear now that money meant for the people is being used for politics. This is detrimental to our fellowmen,” he noted.

“I just ask that if we are to help, let’s just help. Don’t politicize this because it’s hard on the people, and the election is still far off. I also never forget, Madam Congresswoman, that you were victorious during my father’s time, despite everything that happened back then,” he added.

Avoid being swayed by ‘clickbait’

Nograles, in a Facebook post early Monday morning, urged Davao City residents to avoid being swayed by ‘clickbait’ posts as it is untrue that DSWD no longer has funds for the people. According to Nograles, such a statement is impossible since the PBA party-list continues to release medical aid, and hold barangay caravans where DSWD programs are being delivered.

In a subsequent message to reporters on Tuesday, Nograles believes Duterte took her words out of context, as the DSWD clarified that funds are available.

Nograles was referring to a DSWD Regional Office XI statement stating that the Field Office XI “continues to serve the constituents of the Davao Region, particularly those in need of Medical, Burial Assistance, and other support services”.

According to DSWD Regional Office XI’s Facebook post on Tuesday, 273,305 individuals have been assisted from January 1 to June 3, 2024, totaling to the disbursement of P1.571 billion.

“DSWD already talked about the availability of funds, and the provision of funds. Plain and simple, I did not say other things about even withholding or his own actions. Never even mentioned his name. Why am I being painted as the bad guy? Maybe even rains or storms would be blamed on me,” she said.

“Why bother mentioning nor replying to the good Congressman? What the DSWD said is clear. It is not in my behavior to quarrel and bad mouth people. Plus I know he will never vote for me. Look at his reply, it’s far from what I said. There’s a disconnect, they’re diverting it from the issue,” she added.

Nograles also fired back at the Dutertes, saying that there were cases of people not being allowed to get assistance because they support her party-list group.

“This should be asked of barangay officials that they voted for: why can’t people be a beneficiary asking for government help just because I support PBA or a Nograles?” she asked.

‘Not allowed to enter’

“Why? Because the truth is some (many, actually) of the barangay captains or kagawads in the entire Davao City (3 districts) have not allowed me to enter, provide services through a barangay caravan, show and provide support, use space, and they have refrained from issuing certifications ‘because I am with the PBA or because they are PBA supporters’,” she added.

Duterte meanwhile urged the public to ask the PBA party-list for their needs as these are public funds.

“To my beloved Davaoeños, because PBA funds are being disbursed, I urge you to approach them for your medical and financial needs,” he said. “That money belongs to the people, it’s yours, so make good use of it!”

Bitter rivals

The Nograleses and the Dutertes have been bitter rivals in the Davao local political scene. While the Dutertes have maintained their grip in the local elective positions, Nograles’ relatives dominated the congressional seats—her father is former Speaker Prospero Nograles, and her brother is former Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles.

The 2016 elections saw the two families setting politics aside, with the older Nograles saying that he will support Rep. Duterte’s father, long-time Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who eventually won as president.

Karlo was also a key fixture in the Duterte cabinet, having served as cabinet secretary, presidential spokesperson, chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases which tackled the COVID-19 response, and eventually, as Civil Service Commission head.

Karlo was also one of the first to rally support behind former president Duterte in 2015, when the Davao mayor was undecided about running for the country’s highest position.

  • https://www.msn.com/en-ph/news/other/pulong-duterte-migs-nograles-face-off-over-dswd-funds/ar-BB1pGRzE?ocid=00000000

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