Palace to Left: What cheating?
MANILA, Philippines — The loss of senatorial candidates and party-list groups backed by the Left should be a “wake-up call to re-asses their actions,” Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo issued this statement as he dismissed the claim of Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes that the midterm elections were not that credible due to cheating.
“We expect the likes of Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes to cry “cheating” and question the ‘Duterte magic’ following the crushing defeat of many left-leaning party-list groups and their candidate for senator, Mr. Neri Colmenares, in this year’s elections,” Panelo said.
In a statement, Reyes said the “Duterte magic” was the “use of government resources to favor administration bets, use of the AFP and PNP to target and harass opposition groups especially the progressive party-lists and candidates, and the control of the Comelec and the hocus-pocus of the automated polls,” among others.
“Their loss is a clear indictment that our people do not believe in their advocacies, especially on the war on drugs, extra-judicial killings, South China Sea, one-man rule, etc., which they have foisted and peddled to the people,” Panelo said.
“Our people’s rejection should have been a wake-up call to re-assess their actions. Unfortunately, Mr. Reyes — instead of throwing in the towel and yield to the resounding voice of the electorate — opts to throw his false and malicious narratives at the Duterte administration,” he added.
Panelo said Reyes’ claims “have not been backed by any semblance of evidence and can easily be fact checked.”
“For one, half of the commissioners of the Commission on Elections are appointees of former President Noynoy Aquino. In fact, supporters of the administration candidates remain vigilant to protect their votes from being altered,” he said.
Panelo added President Duterte “will never interfere with the election process, as well as frustrate the sovereign will of the people, for such is the very process which propelled him to the presidency.”
“By ‘Duterte Magic,’ we mean the total package of sterling performance and good governance the President delivers to the people. It is also his empathy towards the ordinary Filipino as against those who, until now after the elections, cannot comprehend the voice of the majority opting to turn a blind eye to it,” he said.
Panelo said this “includes his decisive actions in resolving various local and national issues, as well as creating solutions to uplift the lives of the citizenry. These, among others, comprise the “Duterte magic” which carried his candidates to a resounding victory.”
“We hope that Mr. Reyes would be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat even as we are magnanimous in our triumph,” he said.
“Their strategy of attacking a non-candidate President who remains hugely popular amongst the people, registering an 81% public satisfaction rating in favor of his administration at the height of the campaign season, was simply wrong. It triggered a backlash against the opposition candidates,” he added.
He suggested that the Left “should have presented an alternative platform of governance and discussed how their brand of politics would be much better than the kind that the administration candidates would provide.”
“We reiterate our call to the opposition, let us set aside our partisanship and work together for the betterment of the Filipino people,” he said.
“The sovereign voice has spoken. We urge the opposition, the critics and the detractors to bow to the majesty of the rule of the majority, lest we are swept away by the rampaging tidal waves of change,” he added. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
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