Duterte tells Piñol: Don’t return the Rolex, use it to buy rice and food for people

Image from Manny Pinol's Facebook page
  • President commented on agriculture secretary’s return of expensive watch
  • He said instead of returning it, he should have instead used it to buy rice and food to give away
  • He also said as Davao City mayor he told people to give rice and food to others instead of giving him gifts

MANILA, Philippines – Commenting on Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s return of a P450,000 Rolex watch which was given to him as a gift, President Rodrigo Duterte said the former should have instead sold the watch and used it to buy rice for the poor.

“Kaya si Piñol nagyayabang na at bakit naman niya isauli ang Rolex?” GMA News quoted him as saying. “Sabihin mo kay Piñol, ilang Rolex ba ang…how about the others? Siguro mga coming Christmas, isauli ninyo lahat iyan? Ibigay n’yo sa akin ipagbili ko ng bigas, ipakain ko sa mga tao.”

Image from Manny Pinol's Facebook page
Image from Manny Pinol’s Facebook page

[Why did Piñol flaunt that he returned the Rolex. Tell Piñol and ask him about the other Rolexes. Maybe in the coming Christmases, will they also return it? Give them to me instead and I will sell them to buy rice and feed them to the people.]

Duterte said it was his habit as Davao City mayor to ask those planning to give him gifts to instead give rice and goods to the poor.

“Pero ako sa Davao, every Christmas, sasabihin ko na alam ko madaming magbigay, mayor eh. Hindi mo talaga maiwasan ‘yan. Sabi ko, ‘Huwag na kayong magbigay sa akin. Bigyan n’yo ‘ko ng bigas. Kung gusto ninyo magbigay sa akin, bigas.’ O pagkatapos niyan, ‘O, sige ipadala mo doon sa ano.’ ‘Yan, … Bigas o ulam,” he recalled.

[But when I was in Davao, every Christmas, I am saying that I knew then that many would give me gifts because I was mayor. You really cannot avoid that. I would tell them, ‘Don’t give gifts to me. If you really want to give, then give me rice. After that, I’d tell them, ‘send them to these places. Rice or goods.]