The spokesperson for the ruling coalition on Tuesday called on supporters of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to stop "harassing" the OFW who came out on social media to belie claims that Mar Roxas' sortie in Hong Kong was poorly attended.
"Hindi na nakakatuwa ang ginagawa ng mga disipulo ni Mayor. Hindi tama na ma-harass ang OFW na lumabas para sabihin ang katotohanan ng ginawa ni Mar sa Hong Kong," Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez said.
According to Gutierrez, Marites Palma, an OFW in Hong Kong, is being bullied online after coming out to dispel claims that very few Filipinos welcomed Roxas, the administration standard bearer, in Hong Kong over the weekend.
A photo shared by Duterte's spokesperson, Peter Laviña, shows Roxas sitting on a bench looking forlorn as he was surrounded by a few supporters in Hong Kong.
Laviña said "Mar was in for a real shock after finding out for himself that indeed Duterte has captured almost all OFWs."
"Nilangaw ang rally doon ng tuwad na daan. The visibly disoriented, demoralized Mar was a picture of defeat," he added.
In her Facebook personal page, Palma said, "Ako po yung nakasuot ng blue shirt [sa larawan]. Maling mali naman po ang caption ng kuhang larawang ito."
"Matama pong nakikinig sa aking hinaing si Mar Roxas tungkol sa aking naging karanasan noong inuwi ko ang aking pinsan, na may malaubhang sakit dito sa HongKong. Yung hinaing ko tungkol sa taxi driver sa airport na nangotong sa amin from airport to the terminal papuntang Isabela," she said.
Gutierrez said Duterte, known for his tough talk and colorful language, should set an example to his supporters.
"Hindi tama na gamitin ang Santo Papa para sa pulitika. Hindi tama na magsinungaling tungkol sa resulta ng isang survey. Ang disiplina para sa lahat. Simulan mo sa iyong sarili, Mayor," Gutierrez said.
Duterte had been criticized for cursing at Pope Francis to express his frustration over the traffic in Metro Manila. Pollster Pulse Asia also recently disowned a survey showing Duterte as the frontunner.
In a separate interview, Roxas said contrary to Laviña's claim, thousands of Filipinos in Hong Kong gathered to support his presidential campaign.
"Kung ano man ang mga gawa-gawa na ito ay hayaan na lang natin sila. Panahon ng kampanya ngayon. So, lahat ng uri ng paninira, lahat ng uri ng pagmanipula sa letrato, ay makikita natin," he said.
Roxas’ running mate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, said the presidential candidate was actually waiting for her to finish her media interviews when he was photographed. —KBK, GMA News