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Duterte followers unfazed by attacks

A 36-year-old landscaper showed up at the Bank of Philippine Island (BPI) Julia Vargas branch in San Juan yesterday to show his support to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is being accused of unexplained wealth.

Romel Canas left his small business in Payatas, Quezon City to join a big group of Duterte followers who converged in front of the bank.

“Propaganda lang ito dahil malapit na ang eleksyon,” said Canas. “Nakita ko sa Davao ang nagawa ni Duterte. Sa Davao kailangan pa na i-eroplano, i-barko ang mga goods, Davao is part of Mindanao pero naging payapa during his leadership.”

Canas said what the country needs is leadership.

“Kailangan natin ng isang leader na makakapagbago ng ating buhay. Lahat ng paratang walang basehan,” said Canas.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes had accused Duterte of owning bank accounts which contained P227.41 million in 2014. This was not declared in Duterte’s Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) that year.

Trillanes also claimed that P2.4 billions in transactions flowed through the accounts and bared that the Duterte family had 37 properties across the country.

Canas said that even if Trillanes’ allegation is true, he would still vote for Duterte.

“Ang punto rito ay ang leadership na pwedeng maibigay ni Duterte sa bansa, ‘yang alegasyon sa kanya it will take years, matagal na proseso iyan. Mabuti sana kung hindi tumatakbo si Trillanes, maniniwala pa ako sa kanya,” Canasa said.

Duterte supporters started massing as early as 9 a.m., snarling traffic in the area.

Clarry Jaramilia said she stepped out of her office to lend her support to the Davao mayor whom she has supported since her college days.

“Ang kailangan natin ay pagbabago. Kailangan natin ang kamay na bakal ni Duterte,” Jaramilia said.

There was no untoward incident despite the presence of Trillanes supporters who carried anti-Duterte placards and Magdalo banners.

Actors Robin Padilla and DJ Durano also arrived and were mobbed by Duterte followers.

PBA player Marc Pingris also made an appearance by driving past the J. Vargas road to the crowd’s big cheers.

A young professional, who passed by the area, supported Trillanes’ action.

“It’s amazing how hypocritical these people are. When Trillanes grilled Binay nobody gave a damn nor they questioned him how he acquired the information. They even lauded him for going against the second highest official. But when it’s Duterte’s time to be grilled he suddenly was accused of having no credibility,” said the 21-year-old Trillanes supporter who wished not to be named.