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WATCH | The day De Lima spewed venom vs Duterte, the President talked tamely and looked like a lamb

Reuters file photo of President Rodrigo Duterte

InterAksyon.com
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines - On the day that Sen. Leila de Lima spewed venomous words against the chief executive, calling him the number one criminal in the country if not the world, President Rodrigo Duterte was not his usual self, at least during one event.

[READ RELATED STORY: 'NUMERO UNONG KRIMINAL' | De Lima to Pinoys: Stand up vs Duterte, it's time for another EDSA]

During the Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s 50th anniversary reception in Mandaluyong City, Duterte sounded tame and looked like a lamb. He stuck to reading his speech, avoided hurling invectives -- something he rarely did before -- and just talked about how to solve poverty and promised to end corruption. 

"I am not into reading speeches but because of the crowd, I have to be prim and proper, not to be casting words...But really, it's not part of may makeup," said Duterte on Tuesday, February 21, before reading his speech for the ADB.

"Better read a prepared speech. It's all courteous. The words are very diplomatic and civil," the President added during the event that was attended by former presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Fidel Ramos, who were sitting beside each other.   

After that short introduction, Duterte got down to brass tacks and praised ADB in its effort "to reduce poverty and improve the quality of life" of people in the developing countries, extending to these nations a total of $267 billion in financial assistance since 1966. 

He said the Philippines was fortunate that ADB had "decided to establish its headquarters in Manila." 

"This has not only allowed us to secure needed development assitance but also vital equipment and technical and infomation transfers throughout the years," the President said. 

Duterte said the Philippines had received a total of over $16 billion from the ADB in the form of loans and grants and another billion dollars in loans and investments. 

He said the country was looking forward to the next round of ADB release of $4.22 billion in loans and $9.3 million in technical assistance in the next three years. 

"This will help us in realizing important development initiatives. Rest assured that the Philippines will redouble its effort to faster economic growth and reduce poverty," Duterte said before ADB officials, adding that he hoped that the Philippines would be able to "lift more of our people from poverty, expand the economy by about 50 percent in real terms and make the Philippines...an upper middle income class economy in 2022." 

The President received the laudest applause from the audience when he said before the conclusion of his speech that, "I can assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that there will be no corruption in my government. You have my word."

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