May 27, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Duterte-led gatherings not peace rallies, but veiled smear campaigns

HOUSE leaders on Thursday condemned the string of “prayer rallies for peace” headlined by former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and other critics of the Marcos administration, calling it as a thinly veiled smear campaign lacking genuine intentions for peace.

Deputy Majority Leader and Isabela 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy V lamented the irony of labeling the event as “peace rally” when its primary focus was to criticize the current administration without offering constructive solutions to the issues raised.

“The fact that they are calling it a peace rally is a bit ironic,” Dy said. “It’s not all about peace. Puro paninira ang nangyayari, puro pambabastos pa, puro paninira sa ating current administration but they’re not even offering any other solutions to what they’re saying or the problems.”

Dy expressed bewilderment at the persistence of such activities, especially at a time when Marcos is seeking support from the international community and striving for unity.

Despite opposition efforts, Dy pointed out the enduring popularity and support enjoyed by Marcos, citing the strong mandate of 31 million supporters who elected him into office. 

“Nakakalungkot na ganito ‘yung sitwasyon nila ano, na patuloy pa rin hanggang ngayon na sinusubukan nilang siraan ang ating Pangulo pero hindi naman po matitibag basta-basta ang popularidad, ang support ng ating mga kababayan sa ating mahal na Pangulo,” Dy said.

It was during these so-called prayer rallies that Duterte accused his successor of drug addiction and criticized efforts to amend the 1987 Constitution, wrongly alleging they aimed to extend the term of sitting government officials.

At a prayer rally in Manila, former congressman Glenn Chong threatened to slap First Lady Liza Marcos-Araneta, sparking strong condemnation from lawmakers and the public.

During another prayer rally in Tagum City, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez made a seditious remark, urging the Armed Forces of the Philippines to withdraw support from the President over his handling of the issue in the West Philippine Sea. 

Alvarez is now facing an ethics probe in the House of Representatives in relation to the seditious statement, among other violations.

Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-list Rep. Jude Acidre said that calling those events as peace rallies is inaccurate given the nature of the discussions held during the gatherings.

“Kung pakikinggan po natin ‘yung mga sinasabi, ‘yung mga salitang binibitawan po sa entablado doon ay ang layo po sa kagustuhan nilang magkaroon ng peace,” Acidre said.

Acidre suggested that it would be more productive to focus on addressing issues and providing solutions to the country’s challenges, as he acknowledged the continuous efforts of the current administration.

“Siguro ho ang maganda lang, o mas magandang gawin eh mas tuunan nalang natin ng pansin ‘yung mga bagay na mas magbibigay linaw at magbibigay solusyon sa mga problemang kinakaharap ng ating bansa,” Acidre pointed out.

“Nakikita naman natin na ang ating Pangulo ay patuloy na nagtatrabaho, patuloy na nagsusumikap at nandoon din ‘yung suporta ng majority ng Congress, ng majority ng ating, kundi naman lahat ng ating mga local government units,” he added.

Assistant Majority Leader and Manila 1st District Rep. Ernesto “Ernix” Dionisio also questioned whether the subject events qualify as peace or prayer rallies even as he stressed the need to rally behind Marcos and refrain from criticism.

“Peace or prayer rally? Hindi, kasi kapag peace rally eh kapayapaan o ito dapat pagsuporta natin sa nakaupong may mandatong pangulo,” Dionisio pointed out.

Dionisio said that rather than engaging in criticism, it is imperative for everyone to offer prayers for the President and his success.

“Ipagdasal na magtagumpay ‘yung Pangulo natin because remember if the President succeeds, the country will succeed, at tayong lahat bilang mga Pilipino ay magtatagumpay,” Dionisio stressed.

He added, “So, dapat talaga suportahan natin at ipagdasal ang Pangulo. That is the true essence of a peace and prayer rally in my humble opinion.”