No room for defamation in Bagong Pilipinas – Marcos

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
No room for defamation in Bagong Pilipinas � Marcos
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr
Bongbong Marcos / Facebook Page

MANILA, Philippines — There is no room for defamation and crab mentality in the new Philippines, President Marcos said, as he faces controversies spawned by a souring relationship with his predecessor Rodrigo Duterte and the political infighting among his allies.

In a video posted on YouTube yesterday, Marcos called for unity and attitude change, saying a new Philippines requires a “new Filipino.”

“The success of this call lies on our unity. In the new Philippines, there is no place for defamation and efforts to drag one another down. Let us put our nation first,” Marcos said.

“It is time for us to change. Because there is no new Philippines if there is no new Filipino,” he added.

The video was a recap of the launch of the Bagong Pilipinas governance branding in Manila last week, which was held on the same day that Duterte and his supporters held a prayer rally against a controversial signature campaign that aims to amend the 1987 Constitution. 

Duterte, who pushed for a shift to federalism when he was president, accused Marcos’ cousin Speaker Martin Romualdez and First Lady Liza Marcos of being behind the campaign, which he described as a “fraud.” 

He also accused Marcos of being a drug addict and warned him that the people’s initiative signature campaign could lead to his ouster just like what happened to the President’s late father and namesake in 1986.

Marcos brushed aside his predecessor’s tirades, attributing them to the former president’s use of the highly addictive painkiller fentanyl. But Duterte stood by his claims and even challenged Marcos to undergo a drug test with him. The President has not responded to Duterte’s latest statements. 

Rumors swirled that there is bickering among Marcos’ allies after the House of Representatives, a chamber dominated by administration allies, removed the confidential funds of agencies led by Vice President Sara Duterte, daughter of the former president. The elder Duterte then claimed that Romualdez was “swallowing” confidential funds and described the House as the “most rotten institution,” a label that did not sit well with members of the chamber. 

In the same YouTube video, Marcos urged Filipinos to do their part to achieve the goals of the Bagong Pilipinas campaign, adding that the campaign is not an attempt to hide deficiencies but an invitation for everyone to be part of an effort to improve the country.

“It is a call for a collective action towards a change in our mindset, our way of talking and our actions,” the President said. “You can be of great help. What you are doing is important. Discipline, competence and good performance in your respective fields and love for the nation – these are the ingredients of a new Filipino that we are pushing for.”

Marcos said the campaign also emphasizes the importance of quality service in the government. 

“In the new Philippines, we will intensify our call for our public servants to perform well,” he added.

During the Bagong Pilipinas campaign launch, Marcos said change should begin in the government and directed agencies to address red tape, finish projects on time and shun laziness, arrogance and corruption.

He also reminded government workers that they are the “servants of the people,” not their “lords.” 

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