Duterte wants liquor ban, Palace clarifies, not closing of businesses by midnight
President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his 4th State of the Nation Address at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on July 22, 2019.
King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo

Duterte wants liquor ban, Palace clarifies, not closing of businesses by midnight

Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - July 23, 2019 - 7:25pm

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang Tuesday clarified that President Rodrigo Duterte was just referring to a liquor ban when he said he wants establishments closed by midnight. 

During his fourth State of the Nation Address last Monday, Duterte said he was in favor of a law that would require businesses to close by midnight. 

READ: 32 things Duterte said in his 4th SONA

Duterte, who served as city mayor for 23 years, also lambasted smokers whom he said should be "exterminated from the face of the earth" and called for the passage of bills imposing additional taxes on tobacco and alcohol. 

"When I was new mayor, I went around to see the discos and night clubs. I could hardly see the faces of the people inside. You have to wade into a thick smoke to just recognize one," the president said. 

"So that's when I decided. But I was still smoking. But I decided because I knew, I already had it. So it's time... And a national law, so it would cover everything, that at 12 o' clock, everything closes," he added. 

FULL TEXT: Duterte's 2019 SONA speech

But presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte merely wants a ban on liquor consumption by midnight. He noted that the president implemented a similar ban when he was Davao City mayor. 

"No. Liquor ban," Panelo said in a press briefing when asked whether the president's remark covered all establishments. 

In a press briefing after his SONA, Duterte said he was just making a suggestion to lawmakers, admitting that such policy may reduce the income of operators of night clubs, and discos. 

"I do not think it is a popular move because it will affect adversely businesses that operate during nighttime. But for a small city like Davao, it seems that the people liked it. But in other countries, in other states, by 12 o’clock, everything is closed," Duterte said. 

"I was just suggesting...Congress to ponder on it and maybe sleep on it and if they want. But it can improve tremendously the quality of life. Stop drinking at almost 11, then you go home," he added.

READ: Outspoken Duterte silent on 2 key policies in his 4th SONA

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