MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte warned Filipinos against supporting the Magdalo party, likening them to the terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State).
“Be careful with Magdalo, be careful with the party Magdalo. Ito yung mga rebeldeng sundalo na nagkalat sa Makati pati sa Peninsula. And they destroyed everything, parang ISIS ang buwang,” he said on Friday, November 16.
(These are the rebel soldiers who made a mess in Makati and in the Peninsula. And they destroyed everything, the fools are like ISIS.)
He was speaking in front of a large gathering of Filipinos living in Papua New Guinea. The event, held in Port Moresby, is his first official event in the country where he is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting.
Duterte said Magdalo members only know how to “challenge” and “ridicule” others, citing as an example his fierce critic Senator Antonio Trillanes IV who confronted his son Paolo Duterte in the Senate about his alleged drug and smuggling links.
The President, who has sought to put Trillanes behind bars, said Magdalo members have become emboldened by the amnesty granted them by former president Benigno Aquino III.
“Pumasok na sa isip nila na (It went to their heads that), ‘I can do whatever I want,'” said Duterte.
Yet Duterte made no mention of his own appointees who were granted amnesty after staging a rebellion against previous presidents.
These include incoming Information Communication Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan, incoming Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Danilo Lim.
Members of the Magdalo party have been among the President’s most outspoken critics, especially when it comes to his policies on the West Philippine Sea, China, and the campaign against illegal drugs.
Aside from Trillanes, there is Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano who filed the first impeachment complaint against Duterte. Alejano is running for senator in the 2019 elections.
Last September, Duterte made a rare outburst against the military when he claimed some of its personnel are siding with Trillanes. On live television, he challenged soldiers to oust him if they think he is not fit for the presidency. – Rappler.com