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Duterte warns against cheating

DAVAO CITY – The camp of Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has called on the Filipino people to protect their ballots against possible cheating in the May 9 elections.

The warning came a day before the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) declared its support to Duterte, the front-running presidential candidate.

“The LDP has decided to give Mayor Duterte its full and unequivocal support because we believe his platform addresses the core problems of the country, at this crucial juncture in our history,” said LDP chairman Edgardo J. Angara in a media statement yesterday.

“Mayor Duterte offers the best hope for structural change,” Angara added. “Duterte’s Peace and Prosperity Agenda directly responds to the plight of the Filipino.”

Duterte, who has built a two-digit lead in latest presidential surveys, has been accused of ill-gotten wealth by Sen. Antonio Trillanes.

Leoncio Evasco Jr., Duterte’s national campaign manager, labeled Trillanes’ expose as part of mudslinging and black propaganda designed to derail the Davao mayor’s imminent victory.

“Like we have warned and predicted, the attacks and the black propaganda against Mayor Rodrigo Duterte have become more virulent, orchestrated and so intense only a government machinery can sustain,” Evasco stressed.

Evasco warned the possibility of cheating if black propaganda is not enough to stop Duterte’s march to Malacañang.

“And most of all, if they fail on these, they will cheat their way to victory,” Evasco warned.

He called on supporters to rally behind Duterte.

“We cannot allow them to again steal our hopes and our future through the most undemocratic and oligarchic machinations. This is a battle and struggle between them and against us – against the masses of the Filipino people and elite whose greed and lust for power is insatiable and unforgiving,” Evasco said.

The campaign manager reiterated their belief that Trillanes is a mere pawn of Duterte’s political opponents and detractors.

With less than a week to go, Evasco said the black propaganda will intensify and become more than just insidious.

“They are in fact becoming physically dangerous and threatening to democracy,” he said.

Evasco reported that posters and flyers have appeared in urban and rural areas warning against a Duterte administration.

These posters insinuate that “the mayor will demolish squatter communities; that he will declare martial law,” according to Evasco.

Duterte’s political opponents also compared him to the fascist rulers of Europe, Evasco added.