The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is initiating a covert plan to destroy the presidential bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte spokesman Peter Laviña said the plot is to reportedly picture Duterte as a pro-American candidate hiding behind the platform of federalism to allow easy access for US companies to the rich mineral resources of Mindanao, particularly metallic ores.
“Hurting from the moribund campaign of its standard bearer Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party is allegedly hatching up a black propaganda and psychological war operations against Duterte,” Laviña stressed.
Laviña said the information was leaked by a staff member of an LP stalwart.
According to the insider, the hatchet job was planned somewhere in Western Mindanao where the LP has diehard members.
The source reportedly attended one of those meetings. The scheme will reportedly roll out next week in time for the final half of the presidential campaign.
The same source said the LP will use allied local government officials to “destroy” Duterte in Mindanao where the mayor is very popular.
In several surveys, 47 percent of the voting population of Mindanao prefer Duterte to become the next president.
Laviña described the demolition job as diabolical and a desperate move.
“This only affirms our conviction that they see Duterte as the strongest candidate with a realistic shot at winning the presidency,” he added.
Laviña said the plot could also benefit Sen. Grace Poe who is allegedly the secret candidate of Malacañang.
“The LP will also allegedly try to picture Duterte as a coddler of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front as well as an ally of the communist-led New People’s Army,” he said.
“They want to picture Duterte’s populist image as a mere façade to push a federal system of government. Once it is in place, they will say it will grant easy access for the US to establish US bases in Mindanao,” the source said.
Duterte is known to be critical of US government policies in Mindanao.
BATTLE PLANS. Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, campaign manager Leoncio Evasco, left, and Duterte executive assistant Bong Go, right, planning campaign strategies.
Key to victory: Hard work & persistence
Persistence and hard work will be the key to victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the upcoming May presidential elections.
Duterte landed in a statistical tie with Senator Grace Poe in the first place in a latest survey commissioned by ABS-CBN and conducted by Pulse Asia.
Duterte earned 25 percentage points behind Poe’s 26 points.
“We are where we are comfortable right now. We expect to gain more points as we move towards the second half of the campaign,” Mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr. of Maribojoc town in Bohol, Duterte’s campaign manager.
Evasco added that they were working doubly hard to cover more grounds as the first half of the campaign period is winding down.
What is more revealing, he said, is that Duterte gained more grounds during the week of the survey when the Supreme Court overturned a Commission on Elections’ decision to disqualify Poe.
Evasco, who was also Duterte’s former chief of staff, credited the rise of their bet’s ranking to the clamor of the people for genuine change in the national leadership.
“There is this growing groundswell of discontent among the people and they see in Duterte the strong leadership that the country has been wanting over the last decade,” Evasco said.
While being cautious about momentum, Evasco said the Holy Week will provide them opportunity to assess where they went very strong and gained more converts.
“Of course, we are happy with the results of the survey,” he said.
Duterte’s media team’s head Peter Laviña also explained that the result of the debates in Cebu last Sunday could further boost the mayor’s image as a decisive leader. INQUIRER