Feb 15, 2021 @ 14:30

Duterte lang malakas! Panelo hits Manila Times columnist over ‘lameduck’ tag for Rody

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte can never be a lame duck because majority of Filipinos continue to trust and approve of his performance as the country’s top official, a Palace official said Sunday.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made this remark in response to Manila Times columnist Lito Monico Lorenzana’s claim that Duterte “becomes a lame duck unless he is perceived as still powerful and influential in shaping the next administration.”

“Ang may monumental failure ikaw, Lito. Alam mo kung bakit? Kasi hindi mo nakikita yung monumental achievements ng Presidente Duterte (The one with the monumental failure is you, Lito. You know why? Because you don’t see the monumental achievements of President Duterte),” Panelo said in his online commentary show “Counterpoint.”

Citing the September 2020 results of the Pulse Asia survey, he said 91 percent of the survey respondents gave Duterte a 91 percent performance rating and a 91 percent trust rating.

“Sabihin mo e (You say he’s a) lame duck? He can never be a lame duck. A President who has a 91 trust and approval rating can never be a lame duck, tandaan mo ‘yan (remember that),” he said.

Panelo said he believed that any presidential and vice presidential candidate supported by Duterte could easily win the elections.

“At kahit na hindi tumakbo ‘yan si Presidente, o kahit na hindi tumakbo ‘yan si [Davao City Mayor] Sara Duterte, maniwala kayo, kung sino ang tutulungan ni Presidente Duterteng kandidato sa panguluhan at sa pangalawang panguluhan, mananalo (Even if President doesn’t run, or even if Sara Duterte doesn’t run, believe me when I say that any presidential or vice presidential candidate the President will campaign for will win),” he said.

Panelo said many Filipinos continue to believe Duterte’s pronouncements because he is a reliable leader.

“Siyempre papakinggan ng tao si Presidente Duterte…kasi nga katanggap-tanggap yung kaniyang pamumuno e. Katanggap-tanggap yung kaniyang pinakitang kagila-gilalas na pamamahala (Of course the people will listen to President Duterte…because people approve of his leadership),” he said.

He also criticized former Senator Antonio Trillanes III for saying that fans and supporters of Duterte are stupid.

“Mas matinding katangahan na hanggang ngayon ay hindi ka naniniwala na si Presidente Duterte ay katanggap-tanggap sa sambayanang Pilipino kaya magising ka na sa bangungot mo (It’s even more stupid on your part that until now you don’t believe that Filipinos approve of President Duterte),” he said.

He urged Trillanes and other members of the opposition to “accept the reality” that Duterte remains to have the admiration of many Filipinos.

Don’t blame Sara

Meanwhile, Panelo came to the defense of presidential daughter Sara Duterte who was criticized by netizens for topping list of presidential bets in a survey despite repeatedly saying that she has no intention of joining the race for the presidency in 2022.

“Huwag ninyo siyang sisihin na siya ang nangunguna at huwag ninyo rin sisihin kung bakit ayaw niya. Ayaw niya talaga, pero sabi nga natin (Don’t blame her if she’s leading surveys and don’t blame her if she doesn’t want to run. She really doesn’t want to run but as we say), que sera sera,” he said.

Panelo, who has been very vocal about his support for a possible daughter-and-father tandem of Sara and Rodrigo Duterte in the 2022 national elections, said Sara, as Davao City mayor, had her own achievements to take pride in.

“Itong si Mayor Sara, naipakita niya na hindi lamang siya may pangalang Duterte o anak siya ni Presidente kundi talaga may sariling kakayahin din (Mayor Sara has showed that she’s a worthy candidate not just because she’s the President’s daughter, but because she really has the ability to lead),” he added.

Sara has repeatedly said that she has no plans being the president, but on Jan. 31, the presidential daughter said she is willing to run in 2034 but only if the opposition will support her.

A month ago, Duterte said he discouraged Sara not to run for president because it is not worth pursuing. He said the presidency is an unsuitable job for a woman.

“And my daughter, inuudyok man nila, sabi ko, (They are urging my daughter [to run for president] so I told them), my daughter is not running. I have told Inday not to run kasi naaawa ako sa dadaanan niya na dinaanan ko (because I do not want her to experience what I have experienced),” he said. “Hindi ito pambabae. Alam mo, (The position is not suitable for a woman. You know), the emotional set up of a woman and a man is totally different. Magiging gago ka dito. (You will become stupid). So that is the sad story,” he said. (PNA)

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