Duterte camp accuses LP of terrorism, vote-buying

(The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2016 - 10:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The camp of presidential candidate Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is denoun-cing the apparent traditional politics (trapo) tactics carried out by his rivals, particularly the administration’s Liberal Party, in the coming May 9 elections.

“We denounce in the strongest terms the machinations, terrorism and vote-buying by the administration,” said Peter Laviña, spokesman for the Duterte media team.

Laviña said that the Duterte camp received several complaints and reports from the field.

One of the recent incidents was reportedly the strafing of the house of a Duterte supporter in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte suspected to have been carried out by men of local LP officials reportedly involved in drug trafficking.

A Duterte volunteer in Leyte was reportedly accosted and threatened by men identified as goons of an alleged local drug lord.

Laviña said that a radio reporter in Bukidnon discussing issues about Duterte received death threats through text message.

Laviña also cited the attempt to block the recent campaign rally of Duterte and his running mate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano in Camiguin, which he said “perhaps typifies the sorry state of our so-called democracy.”

He said citizens are being terrorized by their own elected public officials.

Laviña explained that the provincial coordinator of Duterte volunteers in Trento, Agusan del Norte, was also terminated as a casual employee of the municipal government and is being harassed and threatened by the group led by Edgar Ga, an alleged supporter of Gov. Eddiebong Plaza, to stop campaigning for Duterte.

Plaza had allegedly distributed P10,000 each to local families to buy votes for LP candidates.

The Duterte camp also complained that Budget Secretary Florencio Abad was reportedly distributing P5,000 to each barangay chairman in Surigao del Norte.

Department of Public works and Highways personnel were also ordered to remove the campaign tarpaulins of Duterte and Cayetano even in private establishments.

Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman and Abad are also reminding voters that if LP candidates lose they could be removed from the list of beneficiaries of the cash assistance of the Pantawid Pamil-yang Pilipino Program and the bottom-up budgeting projects.

Laviña also pointed out that the Department of Agriculture continues with the same project dole-outs to buy support for the administration.

He said that these incidents are clear violations of the election code and that such trapo-style campaigning must be investigated by the Commission on Elections.

Laviña said social media and the rumor mill are also awash with black propaganda against Duterte and his family.

The Koalisyon ng Daang Matuwid yesterday dismissed as a “fantasy” the claim of Duterte that LP is hatching a “psychological warfare operation” against him to sabotage his presidential bid.

Administration coalition spokesman Akbayan party-list Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez said Duterte’s previous allegations about supposed plans to discredit him have been proven false.

“Mayor Duterte keeps claiming that there are conspiracies against him, but all his fantasies have been proven false, from a supposed disqualification to an alleged DOJ (Department of Justice) case, none of which materialized,” Gutierrez said.

The Duterte camp previously claimed to have received information that the Aquino administration is planning to file charges against the mayor for his alleged involvement in the extrajudicial killings of criminals in Davao City.

Gutierrez claimed that the people in Duterte’s camp are the ones who are involved in black propaganda.

“The irony is, it is his supporters that are experts at black propaganda, posting fake stories, fake photos, and fake endorsements online,” the coalition spokesman said.

“Are lies and fakery the hallmarks of Duterte’s leadership?” he added.

Laviña said Duterte also opted to celebrate his 71st birthday today with the usual private time and nothing has changed.

PMM backing Duterte

Meanwhile, leaders of the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka (PMM) are urging party members to endorse Duterte as the party’s presidential bet in the May 9 polls.

PMM’s first official presidential candidate was the late OFW party-list lawmaker Roy Señeres who died last February.

Pablito Alcover, PMM deputy secretary general, and Dennis Hernandez, the party’s Region 4 chairman, said Duterte and Señeres have similar advocacy on many national issues such as the strengthening of the labor sector, adopting the federal system of government and abolishing the contractualization scheme that has taken away the right of tenure of some 15 million workers.

Many, if not most, of the PMM’s rank and file want to endorse Duterte who, like Seneres, also hails from Mindanao, they said, adding that Seneres was also Duterte’s schoolmate and fraternity brother at the San Beda College of Law in Manila.

PMM president Jose Malvar Villegas has convened the party’s National Directorate to thresh out problems arising from Seneres’ death. The party will meet this week to discuss Duterte’s nomination and other national issues.

Alcover and Hernandez urged Villegas, also chairman of the Citizens Crime Watch, to join Dante Jimenez, founding chairman of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, and VACC president Martin Dino in supporting to Duterte.

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