Survey front runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was again the target of President Benigno Aquino III’s campaign speech in Iloilo on Tuesday, wherein he questioned Duterte’s style of leadership.
Aquino said Duterte acts like a dictator who threatens to violate the Constitution, citing the mayor’s statement that he will close down Congress to thwart attempts to have him impeached over allegations of hidden wealth.
“Pinag-aralan ko po ‘yung ating Saligang Batas at hinahamon ko po kayo lahat dito, lahat ng nakikinig sa atin, hanapin niyo sa Saligang Batas: Saan ang kapangyarihan ng Presidente na i-abolish ang Kongreso?” Aquino told the crowd gathered at the Plazoleta Gay in Iloilo Tuesday night.
Iloilo is considered a bailiwick of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), with party stalwart Senate President Franklin Drilon hailing from the said province.
“I-abolish rin ang Supreme Court, baka iyon ang susunod, ewan ko. Pero hanapin ho niyo, walang ganung karapatan. Sinasabi nga ho: Sa Saligang Batas, co-equal branch e. Ano ba ang ibig sabihin no'n? Kapag umabuso si Presidente, nandiyan ‘yung Kongreso sa pamamagitan ng impeachment, pananagutin,” Aquino further said.
“Kapag umabuso ‘yung Kongreso at ‘yung Presidente, nandiyan ‘yung Supreme Court, pwedeng tingnan ang kilos niyo, grave abuse of discretion ang tawag,” he added.
Duterte earlier said he is planning to form a revolutionary government if elected president, saying the current Constitution could no longer address many of the problems besetting the country.
Aquino said a revolutionary government would strip the people of the power to question the wrong policies and decisions of Duterte.
The President said it pains him to see the growing support for a presidential candidate who acts like a dictator, especially during the year when the 30th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution was commemorated.
It was the People Power that toppled the administration of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino’s mother, the late Corazon Aquino, was installed to the presidency thereafter.
“Ang masakit ho sa akin, 30th year ng anniversary natin ng EDSA e. Kung kailan tayo lumaya, ngayon ang parang lumalamang ‘yung mga nag-aastang didikta. Parang may mali yata dito. Ano ba ang nangyari?” Aquino said.
He then cited the accomplishments of his six-year administration, including the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), the budget increase for the Department of Health, construction of classrooms, and employment, among others.
“Mali ba lahat ‘nung ginawa nating iyan na babaligtarin natin, subukan na naman natin ‘yung eksperimento ‘nung Martial Law?” he said.
With 33 percent, Duterte remains the top choice to succeed Aquino, according to the latest survey by Pulse Asia conducted from April 26 to 29.
Aquino’s endorsed candidate, former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, was second at 22 percent. He remains statistically tied with Senator Grace Poe.
Vice President Jejomar Binay meanwhile was at the fourth spot with 17 percent, while Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago got two percent. —KG, GMA News