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Duterte threatens to cut UP funding after Ateneo proposes student strike; netizens to Digong: ‘Pera mo?’

It seems Duterte doesn’t know who owns the taxes the government collects, nor can he distinguish between UP and Ateneo.

In what is now known as #DuterteMeltdown, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to cut funding for the University of the Philippines (UP)—after students of Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU) threatened to hold a student strike.

In a recorded speech, Duterte said students need not worry about the plight of the poor and those hit by the typhoon.

“You are taking the cudgels of the poor ahead of your time… That is the worry of government,” said Duterte after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque asked him to comment on “students not wanting to submit academic requirements until relief operations have been attended to.”

He would also tell students to not go to school until “mabakunahan lahat ng Pilipino” and “wait for another typhoon and see if the help we extend is enough to your satisfaction”.

He would later ask if it were UP students who sounded the call for said academic freeze.

“Yung iskwelahan? UP? Fine. Maghinto kayo ng aral. I will stop the funding. Wala nang ginawa ang mga ito kundi magrecruit ng mga komunista diyan. Tapos nagaaral kayo, kung gusto ninyong bira-birahin ang gobyerno? Masyado naman kaswerte kayo. Wag talaga kayong manakot kasi I will oblige you.”

These final lines from Duterte would create a firestorm on social media, with people telling him how misinformed his cabinet was.

His statements would also draw comparisons to a beloved public official in these trying times: Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto.

The UP community has since issued their own statement, telling Duterte he “missed the point” of the academic community’s call to end the semester early.

“Duterte’s threats to defund UP ignore the very reason UP is calling for the end of the semester,” University Student Council chairman Froilan Cariaga said in a statement.

The calls for a student strike, which Roque alluded to, actually came from the student body of Ateneo, where some of the country’s most influential people send their children to school.

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