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MAYOR Sebastian “Baste” Duterte delivered fighting words at the political rally on Sunday, Jan. 28, as he challenged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to step down if he could not meet the demands of his position.
“Mr. President, kung wala kay gugma, wala kay aspirations sa imong nasud, resign (if you have no love and no aspirations for your country, resign),” Duterte said during the Hakbang ng Maisug Leaders Forum in Grand Men Seng Hotel, Sunday, Jan. 28.
“You are lazy and you lack compassion,” he added.
The fighting words were a departure for the youngest Duterte, who is known for his laid-back style of governance. He cited the successful campaign against drugs and criminality during the administration of his father, former President Rodrigo Duterte, but the fight lost its momentum under President Marcos Jr.
“Na-anticipate ko talaga na pagbaba niya there will be resurgence ng mga ganitong activities kasi nga for six years dili sila [syndicates] makalihok, walang alam kundi krimen. Wala na si FPRRD karon, balik na ang droga (I anticipated a resurgence in criminal activities when FPRRD ended his term. Now, illegal drugs are on a comeback),” he said.
“Kung anong nangyari sa previous admin na successful, your responsibility na ikaw ang pumalit you have to keep that up. Nakita nato? Wala (It’s your duty to continue the successful programs of the previous administration. Can we see it now? No),” he said.
He accused the President of turning a blind eye rather than addressing the problems in the country.
Duterte also expressed anger when the current administration decided to explore peace talks with the National Democratic Front.
“Mao karon ang nag antos, kita, kami mga taga Davao, mga probinsya nga daghang NPA, nawala naman unta na [insurgency], magamit na ang mga yuta, wa nay samok, gibalik na pud na karon ang peace talks nila (The provinces riddled with NPAs, like us in Davao City, end up suffering. The insurgency was about to be eradicated, we could have used the land, no more conflict, now they are resuming the peace talks)” he said.
He criticized President Marcos Jr.’s penchant for “politicking and self-preservation.”
He noted that the chief executive has never gone to the mountains to see for himself the poor conditions on the ground. He also slammed the President for his reported lack of empathy for the lives lost in the clashes with the communist guerillas.
The city mayor underscored that the People’s Initiative replicated the template of the President’s father and namesake, the former strongman, who initiated and manipulated a plebiscite to perpetuate himself into power.
“Imbes of opening up para mo improve ang kinabuhi sa mga Pilipino labi na sa mga kabus, giuna nila ilang kaugalingon (Instead of opening up [the economy] and improve the lives of poor Filipinos, they prioritized themselves),” he said.
The forum at the hotel was a prelude to the massive prayer rally set in San Pedro Square, opposing the signature campaign for a People’s Initiative for constitutional change.
Among those who attended the forum were former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, former Cabinet secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr., Davao del Norte First District Rep. and former house speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, former executive secretary Victor Rodriguez, former Presidential Communications Operations Office secretary Lorraine Badoy, and Davao 3rd District Rep. Isidro Ungab.
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