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MANILA, Philippines — In defense of his cousin, House Speaker Martin Romualdez called out former president Rodrigo Duterte and Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte after the two criticized President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a prayer rally in Davao on Sunday.
In a statement on Monday, January 29, Romualdez challenged the elder Duterte to show proof after the latter accused Marcos of being a “drug addict.” The ex-president also alleged that Marcos was on a drug watchlist of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), but the agency refuted the accusation and clarified that Marcos “is not and was never” on its list.
Sebastian Duterte, meanwhile, called on the president to step down from office.
“Unless you have proof na ‘yung mga alegasyon ninyo na kung bakit nananawagan dyan na sa ating mahal na Presidente Ferdinand R. Marcos na bumaba sa pwesto, sana mag isip-isip muna kayo, mag-isip muna kayo at ilabas ‘yung mga pruweba,” Romualdez said.
(Unless you have proof to back your allegations to support your call for our beloved President Ferdinand R. Marcos to resign, I hope you first think to yourself and give us evidence to back your statements.)
In a separate statement, Vice President Sara Duterte said her brother’s statement may be “from a place of brotherly love,” as the Vice President is allegedly receiving “despicable treatment” from those close to Marcos. (RELATED: Romualdez denies politicking after House removes Sara Duterte’s confidential fund)
Cracks in the “Uniteam” electoral coalition became more prominent over the weekend as Marcos and the Dutertes held separate events on Sunday. In Manila, Marcos launched his administration’s “Bagong Pilipinas” slogan, while in Davao, the Dutertes held a prayer rally to protest the ongoing push for charter change.
Romualdez criticized Rodrigo Duterte’s sudden change of heart about amending the Constitution, when the ex-chief executive himself attempted to shift the country to federalism by calling for charter change. “Ngayon na may naglulunsad na magandang move for charter amendments, baka nakikita nya na ‘yung hindi n’ya nagawa ay magagawa, baka mangyari na ngayon kaya sinisiraan niya (Now that someone started a move for charter amendments, he could see that what he couldn’t do is now being achieved by someone else, that’s why he wants to ruin it).”
“Sa pamilyang Duterte, siguro konting galang naman sa ating mahal na presidente tsaka sa pamilya niya. Noong panahon ng rehimen niyo, iginalang naman kayo (To the Duterte family, maybe they should show a little respect for our beloved president and his family. During your regime, you were shown respect too),” Romualdez said. – Rappler.com