Duterte slams ‘deliberate’ efforts to stop ‘Maisug’ rally in Tacloban

Duterte slams ‘deliberate’ efforts to stop ‘Maisug’ rally in Tacloban

Rody slams ‘deliberate’ efforts to stop ‘Maisug’ rally in Tacloban

NO GATHERING HERE This fenced RTR Plaza in Tacloban City, shown here on Sunday, is where the group of former President Rodrigo Duterte was to hold their “Maisug” rally on Saturday, but was canceled due to Severe Tropical Storm “Aghon” after the park was filled with heavy equipment. —Joey Gabieta

TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE, Philippines — Former President Rodrigo Duterte has expressed disappointment over the cancellation of the “Maisug” (brave) prayer rally that he was supposed to attend in this city on Saturday.

In an open letter addressed to the people of Tacloban and the nation, Duterte said he believed there was a deliberate intent to stop the May 25 event, aside from the bad weather spawned by Severe Tropical Storm “Aghon” (international name: Ewiniar).


“I am writing this open letter to the people of Tacloban in light of recent events that have caused inconvenience, discomfort and disruption in their lives,” Duterte stated in a social media post on Saturday night.


READ: Former president Duterte attends Dumaguete prayer, peace rally

He mentioned flight cancellations, travel restrictions, power interruptions and obstructions at the Remedios Trinidad Romualdez (RTR) Plaza, where the prayer rally was supposed to be held.

The day before the planned Maisug rally, power outages occurred in parts of the city while pieces of heavy equipment were stationed at the plaza, accompanied by antiriot police.

Duterte was supposed to arrive in Tacloban via a chartered flight from Davao City on Saturday.

However, the event was called off due to the bad weather.

The former president alleged that the deployment of heavy equipment at the venue of the rally was aimed at thwarting the prayer rally.


“As part of the Marcos administration’s policy of stifling peaceful dissent, they are doing everything to prevent this rally from happening,” Duterte said.

The former president also cited similar incidents of Maisug rally cancellations in Malolos City and Bustos, both in Bulacan province.

No knowledge

An aide of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, a cousin of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the mayor was unaware of the Maisug prayer rally.

The mayor was focused on monitoring Severe Tropical Storm Aghon that was affecting the Eastern Visayas region, including this city, the aide said.

Mayor Romualdez had earlier defended his cousin against Duterte’s allegations that the latter was a drug user, saying that the President did not use cocaine or any illegal substance.

Tacloban, the capital of Leyte province, has been regarded as another hometown of Marcos, apart from Ilocos Norte, as his mother, former first lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, hails from Leyte.

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In an interview last May 20, Marcos criticized Duterte and the administration of the late President Benigno Aquino III for not having done enough for Tacloban, which has been recovering from the wrath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” that pummeled the city and the rest of Eastern Visayas on Nov. 8, 2013.

TAGS: Aghon, Rodrigo Duterte

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