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Dutertists: Defend the President at all costs

A GROUP that claims a membership of 1 million members vowed Friday to “defend the President at all costs” from moves to discredit him being launched by “sinister forces.”

In a press conference, the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC) vowed to offer strong resistance against such moves, saying that Duterte’s thrusts to achieve genuine change were already taking shape.

The group, which includes top officials from various government agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, converged at Club Filipino to resist what they described as a plot to oust Duterte.

“In less than six months of his presidency, the President has accomplished a lot in the areas of criminality and illegal drugs, corruption and the drive toward federalism. In the process, many were affected by these serious campaigns, including those who used to gain from their evil ways,” MRRD-NECC chairman and Tesda director general Guiling Mamondiong said.

FIST SUPPORT. Members of the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte-National Executive Coordinating Committee and Tesda Secretary Guiling Mamondiong (with eyeglasses) as well as actors Cesar Montano and Rommel Padilla raise their clenched fists Friday during a news conference at Club Filipino in a demonstration of support ‘to defend the President’ against ouster moves being hatched by ill-boding forces affected by his drive against criminality and corruption. Manny Palmero
Mamondiong said the President is not only a leader for the rich or the poor but of all Filipinos.

“These threats on the office of the people’s President will not prosper. Any supposed plan being hatched by anyone or group of removing him from office through unconstitutional means shall be dealt with blunt force by the millions of Filipinos who have had enough of the apathy, negligence and ineptness of previous administrations,” he said.

The group’s press conference was staged against the backdrop of rumors that “yellow forces”—referring to those allied with former President Benigno Aquino III—were plotting out oust Duterte and to install Vice President Leni Robredo as his replacement.

But at the press confrence, the group said there was a deliberate campaign by the opposition to discredit the President before the international community by projecting an ugly picture of the anti-drug campaign.

“They use and abuse the term extrajudicial killings or EJK with impunity when the fact is that EJK is a misnomer and an illusion. The term EJK already prejudges every murder committed against anyone as government-initiated, which is not the case. There is no statute in Philippine laws that punishes EJK as a crime. It is a political term used to demean and discredit the government,” Mamondiong said.

The Tesda chief, however, said that like President Duterte, they believe that the rule of law must be upheld at all times in defense most specially of the weak.

“There is no president in the history of the country other than President Duterte who cared so passionately about the country’s future. As he said, he will stake everything, even his life and the presidency in pursuit of his dreams of making the Philippines a better and safer place to live in,” Mamondiong said.

The group credited Duterte for his determination to establish a federal Philippines during his term.

Also on Friday, the Interior Department said there was no indication of widespread human rights violations taking place in the country.

DILG Assistant Secretary Epimaco Densing said that out of the thousands police operations, the circumstances behind the killing of drug suspects matched the outcome of their independent investigations based on police reports.

“This means what the police were reporting about the killing of drug suspects was true,” he said.

In only two cases he said, one in Quiapo, Manila and the other in Tanza, Cavite, the accounts did not match, prompting the department to recommend a reinvestigation of the cases.

If somebody was killed, it is based on legal operations and it could not be concluded that the killing is a state-sponsored, Densing said.

He also said that some of the killings might be personal or simply a cleansing process wherein policemen involved in the illegal drugs are killing their assets.

A staunch defender of Duterte, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, lashed back at Vice President Leni Robredo, who urged him to speak up against the burial of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos in the Libingan ng mga Bayani.

Instead of campaigning and plotting to gain the presidency, Cayetano said Robredo should help attract investments, build infrastructure, create jobs and redistribute wealth in our country.

“Let’s do it together,” Cayetano told Robredo.

Cayetano, who repeatedly hit the Marcoses over their ill-gotten wealth during the campaign, said he was now focused on helping Duterte and busy doing his job. With Macon Ramos-Araneta

Topics: Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee , MRRD-NECC , Department of the Interior and Local Government , Technical Education and Skills Development Authority , Tesda , Guiling Mamondiong
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