Is the country’s prized democracy in danger if communist-friendly Rodrigo Duterte wins the presidency?
Malacañang has raised concern about Duterte’s close association with the armed communist group after five abducted cops were recently released to the presidential candidate.
Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said freedom-loving citizens should be alarmed by a photo of the Davao City mayor with the New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and their flags, adding they must “think seriously” about a Duterte presidency.
“Freedom-loving citizens would find sufficient cause to be alarmed at the picture published in a major broadsheet where erstwhile captive PNP officers are shown wearing shirts with POW (Prisoner of War) printed thereon and being paraded by heavily armed NPA members in the company of Mayor Duterte, with the CPP, NPA and the NDF flags prominently displayed in the background,” Coloma said.
“This picture should lead us to think seriously and be concerned if this is the future for the Philippines which presidential candidate Duterte is offering to our people,” he added.
Last Monday, the communist rebels released five cops on supposed humanitarian grounds after 10 days of captivity.
The captives were handed over to Durterte, who reportedly facilitated the release.
The cops were abducted by the rebels last April 16 in Paquibato town where a military post was attacked.
Duterte earlier reportedly declared that he would be first first left-leaning president if he wins the May 9 elections.
Duterte however made clear he is not a member of the communist group, saying he is still for democracy.