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No demolition job vs Duterte – Palace

Don’t look at us.

Malacañang has strongly denied allegations it was resorting to dirty tricks to derail the candidacy of presidential frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo R. Duterte.

Duterte should instead face the hidden wealth allegations hurled against him instead of pinning the blame on the Palace, according to Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr.

“Walang katotohanan at walang batayan ang alegasyon na ‘yan. Ito ay purong espekulasyon,” Coloma said over government radio.

“Sa halip na maghanap ng masisisi o magkalat ng intriga, mas mainam na sundin na lamang ng alkalde ang panawagan ng taumbayan na matapang na harapin at magbigay ng paliwanag hinggil sa nasabing isyu,” he added.

The camp of Duterte earlier accused the Palace of orchestrating the demolition job against the crime-fighting mayor by digging up his alleged ill-gotten wealth.

Leoncio Evasco Jr., campaign manager of Duterte, said the administration was using all means, including election fraud, in a desperate move to boost the candidacy of Liberal Party standard bearer Manuel A. Roxas II.

Duterte has been leading the presidential surveys despite his controversial rape joke and profanity-laced speeches. Roxas, on the other hand, has been trailing Duterte and Sen. Grace Poe in the pre-election surveys despite the endorsement of President Aquino and the administration’s political machinery.

The alleged bank accounts of Duterte were made public by Sen. Antonio F. Trillanes IV, who is running for vice president and supporting the presidential bid of Poe.

Trillanes has accused Duterte of having multi-million bank deposits and several properties, far from the poor image he has projected to the public. One bank account supposedly contained R211 million which Duterte allegedly failed to declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth.

Duterte denied the existence of bank deposits but later admitted the account had just less than P200 million in the bank. The mayor and his family have also challenged Trillanes to just a file a case against him in court.

In recent days, Aquino has campaigned against Duterte, expressing concern about a possible dictatorship if a bully is elected in the May polls. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)