Duterte teases Joey Salceda: Now, you are out of grace
Recently, President Rodrigo Duterte has been smelling out a supposed plot by the Liberal Party to unseat him.
On Thursday, December 8, he dropped by Albay in Bicol, the province of someone who had previously been strongly identified with the Yellow party: former Albay governor and now Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda.
This past connection did not escape Duterte.
In his second event that day, a pro-federalism forum, he teased Salceda, who was a member of the audience, about it.
"Yung demonstration diyan, yung mga Yellow, ang target niyan ako, to oust me," said Duterte. (The demonstrations there, by the Yellow, the target is me, to oust me.)
After talking about how Leftists who joined the anti-Marcos burial rallies still support him, he again talked about the Liberal Party.
"Yung iba, yung mga tao ni Salceda noon, nagbabaan na (The others, Salceda's people before, they stepped down)," he said, to awkward laughter from his audience.
"Magbolahan pa tayo (Do we continue to kid ourselves)?" added Duterte, in response to the tension.
In an earlier part of his speech, he had already put Salceda under the spotlight.
"Dapat si Joey andoon sa Malacañang eh (Joey should have been in Malacañang). Now, you are out of grace," said the President.
Nervous laughter greeted his comment. The PTV4 cameras then turned to Salceda who was laughing self-consciously.
Duterte sought to diffuse the tension by saying placatingly, "Hindi (No), you are welcome to join me. Wala na ako sa pulitika (I'm out of politics). I just want the best minds of our country. Bakit ko solohin ang gobyernong ito (Why would I corner the government for myself)?"
In previous elections, Salceda became notorious for frequently shifting parties. In 2010, he bolted former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's party Lakas-CMD to join the Liberal Party.
In the 2016 elections, he left the Liberal Party to support the presidential bid of Senator Grace Poe. But when Duterte campaigned in Bicol, Salceda made Duterte's distinctive clenched fist gesture to indicate his support.
Duterte then declared he would appoint Salceda director-general of the National Economic Development Authority if he wins the presidency. He is yet to fulfill that promise. – Rappler.com
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