The camp of leading presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte yesterday accused President Aquino as the mastermind behind the demolition job against the Davao City mayor.
Nine days before elections, Duterte is confronted with issues of unexplained wealth raised by Senator Antonio Trillanes.
“Senator Trillanes is just a pawn and President Aquino is orchestrating a last-ditch demolition job against frontrunner presidential bet Mayor Rodrigo Duterte,” said Leoncio Evasco Jr., Duterte’s campaign manager.
Evasco said the Aquino administration is bent on thwarting a victory by Duterte.
“It is desperately trying to save Mar Roxas’s candidacy and is poised to employ all means, including massive cheating, to maintain the status quo,” Evasco claimed.
“They made the election a very dirty political exercise. They want it confined among the elite. They cannot stomach an outsider, one who has captivated the imagination of the people but does not come from their ranks,” the former rebel priest added.
The latest Pulse Asia survey released last Friday put Duterte on top with 33, 11 points ahead of Sen. Grace Poe (22 points). Roxas is in third place with 20 points.
“Aquino and Roxas both belong to the landed elite who only have contempt against the majority of Filipinos clamoring for genuine and real change,” Evasco said.
One does not have to go beyond and behind recent history, he added.
“During the watch of Pnoy and Roxas, we saw how they remorselessly sacrificed the lives of our gallant police officers in Mamasapano,” Evasco said.
“When hungry farmers demanded rice because the severe drought is killing their children, they answered back by firing at the protesters and in the process killing three and wounding scores of others. It was an exercise of brutal state euthanasia,” he asserted.
The Duterte strategist said: “For the first time, people have rallied behind a man – a leader – who is giving them hope.”
This, he added, is bringing “fear into the senses of the Aquino government and their minions.”
Evasco labeled Trillanes a failed coup plotter and a reckless mercenary of the Aquino government.
Meanwhile, Malacañang called on Duterte to be consistent with his statements in relation to accusations of undeclared bank accounts.
Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said hidden wealth is a serious allegation that should be answered with consistency.
He said it is important for all public officials to have public trust.
“Lahat ng mga opisyal sa pamahalaan, in a sense, talagang may obligasyon na hindi mo pwedeng idaan sa teknikalidad.
Ang pagtatanong sa ganitong mga bagay, ang proteksyon na binibigay sa pangkaraniwang citizen ay in a sense walang ganung karapatan ang opisyal dahil public office is a public,” Quezon said.
“Dapat talagang sineseryoso ang anumang paratang pagda-ting sa pera,” he said.
The Palace official also noted the inconsistencies of the Duterte camp in their statements regarding the issue.
“Ito ay isang bagay na kailangan harapin ng magiting na Mayor Duterte,” Quezon said, noting that Duterte is not only facing issues on his bank account but on his alleged properties as well.
While Duterte is on top in presidential surveys, Quezon said the last week before the elections is where the majority will be deciding who will best lead the country in the next administration.
“Titingnan nila kung emosyon ang magdadala sa kanila o malalim na paninindigan ng mga kandidato,” Quezon said.
“Habang papalapit ang seryosong decision na kailangan na-ting gawin sa susunod na anim na taon, talagang narerealize ng ating mga kababayan ang kaha-lagahan ng pagtutuloy at pag-angat at pagbubuo ng isang malawak na coalition,” he added.
Earlier this week, the Palace denied that it is behind the exposé of vice presidential candidate, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Duterte’s undeclared R211-million bank account in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN).
Trillanes alleged that Duterte held an account at the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) branch on Julia Vargas Avenue in Pasig City jointly with daughter Sara. (With a report from Madel S. Namit) (JONATHAN SANTES)