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Over demand to open BPI accounts: Duterte critics “desperate”

(The Freeman) - May 1, 2016 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Just a week before the elections, Visayas supporters of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte rose to fight back against criticisms hurled by detractors, branding the attacks as nothing more than proof of desperation.

"The opponents are becoming more and more miserably desperate," said Erico Bucoy, Duterte's Visayas campaign manager, in a statement.

Recently, a group calling themselves ASTIG or Alliances Against Tyranny, Incompetence and Greed held a forum criticizing Duterte.

Bucoy said Duterte supporters must rise up against these attacks.

"As supporters of Duterte, we must not stand idly while pitbulls and attack dogs (of rivals) attempt to thwart a Duterte victory, which is, in essence, a victory of the nation," he said.

Bucoy said Duterte critics could only parrot lies and recycled issues that were already answered by Duterte himself.

"Duterte never tried to hide his flaws in offering himself as a solution to criminality and corruption," he said. "So his opponents need to invent issues. Still, Mayor Duterte has faced the BPI issue swiftly."

He was referring to allegations Duterte has questionable millions in pesos in two accounts, which the Davao City mayor showed to be containing only P17,500 and the other having only P50,000.

Bucoy also scoffed at the critics for their apparent double standard.

"You talk about tyranny and turn a blind eye on the major blunders of the ruling elite. Kinsa may tyrant?" he said.

He also urged critics to concentrate on checking the loyalty of their supporters, hinting that many will jump over to the Duterte camp in the coming days.

"Maybe, during this week of realignments, Duterte's opponents should concentrate on loyalty checks on their own supporters, rather than raising issues that many won't believe anymore," Bucoy said.

Duterte supporters have refused to be fazed by the attacks, announcing that they were preparing for a grand Miting de Avance Friday.

"While detractors are still stuck with throwing mud (at us), we are now focusing on conversion (of support) into votes. They cannot gain the moral high ground with such tactics," Bucoy said.

'Make it 20 years'

Meanwhile, Duterte yesterday said he is willing to make public his bank account records as far back as 20 years to prove that he is not hiding anything.

"Make it 20 years," the tough-talking mayor said in response to Trillanes' challenge to show the transaction history of his account at the BPI Julia Vargas branch in Pasig City for the past nine years.

But Duterte said he would only do so if his rivals would also open their bank accounts. "Bakit ako lang? Ano ako, uto-uto nila? Pareho kaming tatakbong presidente, bakit ako lang (Why just me? What do they think I am, gullible? We're all running for president, why should it be just me)?" he said. — Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon with Philippine STAR News Service/RHM

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