PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte on Monday branded Vice President Leni Robredo as an enemy who was in a hurry to claim the presidency and described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “a barking dog” who turned out to be a coward.
Speaking before the Filipino community in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on Sunday night, Duterte tore into his critics.
“Ang mga kalaban ko ... si Leni apurado masyadong maging presidente [Among my enemies, Leni (Robredo) is in too much of a hurry to become president],” Duterte said.
Duterte also mocked Senators Trillanes and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, who filed an impeachment complaint against the President.
Duterte said Trillanes robbed a hotel during the Manila Peninsula takeover in 2007.
“Look at them. Trillanes is a barking dog. He’s just a ... you know, this guy... who was behind a mutiny. Remember what happened in Makati,” the President said.
“Look at this idiot. He launched a mutiny then cowardly surrendered to the police. What he did was to steal all the towels in the Peninsula, the bedsheets and the silverware. He didn’t fire one shot. You’ve seen how he bahaves—like [Senator Leila] de Lima,” he said in Filipino.
Duterte also chided Alejano for saying he had “secret deals” with China and said the lawmaker—also among the mutineers that Trillanes led—should go to the disputed waters and fight the Chinese.
“If he wants to fight in China, he could lead… I would be glad to send him as the first batch of Filipinos who want to take the Spratlys and all of these occupied [territories] now—go ahead. Be the first,” Duterte said in Filipino.
Duterte hit Alejano’s Magdalo party-list, accusing them of doing nothing for the country apart from mounting failed coups d’etat.
“What has this group done? What have you done for the country? Nothing, except to make noise and that really happened during your mutiny. You were forgiven by a president... and you enjoy your freedom now because of one man. But what you did to the country was really something... And you have the nerve to be proud? What are you so proud about?”
“You had your chance to show your bravery. Do not s*** with me. There were times when you should have fought, but your balls got stuck in your throats, and you call that bravery. Then you should have fought. Take a stand. If I were you, I’d stop boasting about bravery and all of these things. You are incapable of doing it. You had your chance to show to the Filipinos. Your bravery was tested and you failed miserably. So do not talk about bravery... You are actually a shame. The government put you through school, and this is what you did to the country.”
Alejano, Trillanes and other rebel junior officers, collectively known as the Magdalo, tried to oust former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo over corruption allegations during the 2003 Oakwood mutiny and the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege.
The mutineers spent seven years in jail but were granted amnesty by President Benigno Aquino III.
Duterte also took shots at De Lima.
“She says she is a political prisoner. Since when?... It was the secretary of Justice herself trafficking drugs,” he added.
Before leaving for a three-day official visit to Myanmar and Thailand, the President said he would not be surprised if Robredo were behind last week’s impeachment complaint against him, but said he never asked any government official to move against her, nor was he involved in attempts to impeach her.
Robredo, who released a scathing attack on the Duterte administration’s drug war through a video prepared for a United Nations meeting in Vienna, has denied any involvement in the impeachment complaint against Duterte.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Sunday said he would work to impeach Robredo, saying her criticism of the government to an international body was a betrayal of public trust.
Alvarez on Monday said the impeachment complaint filed against Duterte would be dismissed outright for lack of substance.
Alvarez, secretary general of President Duterte’s PDP-Laban, said the complaint filed by Alejano might comply with the requirements of form but not for sufficiency in substance.
“We all know that all these charges are fabricated, they seem to believe their own lies,” Alvarez said.
But Alejano said the Magdalo have “testimonial and documentary” evidence to support their accusation of extrajudicial killings of more than 7,000 drug suspects, as well as Duterte’s alleged involvement with the Davao Death Squad vigilante group when he was still mayor of Davao City.
Alejano said the Commission on Human Rights would have documents backing up the testimonies of retired SPO3 Arturo Lascañas and Edgar Matobato, both self-confessed assassins who said they were part of the DDS.
Ousted President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, meanwhile, recalled his own impeachment and called on Filipinos to stand behind Duterte to crush the complaint.
Estrada said the country is lucky to have a President like Duterte “who has that conviction, [and is] willing to risk his life” in the fight against illegal drugs.
“What happened during my time, they ganged up on me,” Estrada said of his impeachment trial in December 2000 and January 2001.
“Now they are doing it to President Duterte,” he said. With Sandy Araneta
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