Palace to opposition: Be humble enough to accept defeat
Malacanang expressed hope on Wednesday that President Rodrigo Duterte's critics, including activist Renato Reyes Jr., would be humble enough to accept defeat.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo's statement came as Reyes accused that it was Duterte's "magic" why the results in the senatorial elections were not credible.
Most of Duterte's endorsed senatorial bets are poised to win in the midterm polls based on the partial, unofficial count of election watchdog Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting.
"We hope that Mr. Reyes would be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat even as we are magnanimous in our triumph. Their strategy of attacking a non-candidate President who remains hugely popular amongst the people, registering an 81 percent public satisfaction rating in favor of his administration at the height of the campaign season, was simply wrong. It triggered a backlash against the opposition candidates," Panelo said in a statement.
The spokesman earlier said Duterte's magic is the reason most senatorial candidates whom he supported are likely to win in the polls.
Reyes, secretary general of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, claimed that Duterte's magic in the 2019 elections consists of the use of government resources to favor administration bets; and the use of the military and the police to target and harass opposition groups especially the progressive party lists and candidates.
He also claimed that Duterte's magic was used to control the Commission on Elections and the hocus-pocus of the automated polls; martial law in Mindanao; and government -sponsored disinformation.
"The so-called Duterte 'magic' mentioned above is the reason why the polls results are not credible. It was the systematic cheating and rigging of the elections which gave us these results," he said.
He said Neri Colmenares, a militant-backed senatorial candidate, was right in refusing to concede due to "fraudulent nature of the polls."
But for the Palace, Panelo said the Duterte magic means the total package of "sterling performance and good governance" Duterte delivers to the public.
He said the magic was also the President's empathy towards the ordinary Filipino as against those who, until now after the elections, could not comprehend the voice of the majority "opting to turn a blind eye to it."
It also includes Duterte's "decisive actions" in resolving various local and national issues, as well as creating solutions to uplift the lives of the citizenry, he said.
"These, among others, comprise the 'Duterte magic' which carried his candidates to a resounding victory," said Panelo, also chief presidential legal counsel.
Contrary to Reyes' allegation, he said that Duterte would never interfere with the election process, as well as frustrate the sovereign will of the people, adding that it was the same process that propelled Duterte to the presidency.
He said the people's "rejection" of the opposition candidates should have been a wake-up call to reassess their actions.
"Unfortunately, Mr. Reyes -- instead of throwing in the towel and yield to the resounding voice of the electorate -- opts to throw his false and malicious narratives at the Duterte administration," he said.
He said the loss of Colmenares and that of the other opposition bets was a clear indication that the Filipinos "do not believe in their advocacies," particularly on the war on drugs, extrajudicial killings, South China Sea issue, and one-man rule, among others, which he accused were being foisted and peddled to the public.
"The electorate has seen through the sophistry of espousing their feigned brand of nationalism for many decades, taking advantage of the poor man’s plight," he said.
Panelo said the opposition should have presented an alternative platform of governance and discussed
They should have presented an alternative platform of governance and discussed how their brand of politics would be much better than the kind that the administration candidates would provide, he said.
"We reiterate our call to the opposition, let us set aside our partisanship and work together for the betterment of the Filipino people. The sovereign voice has spoken. We urge the opposition, the critics and the detractors to bow to the majesty of the rule of the majority, lest we are swept away by the rampaging tidal waves of change," he stressed. Celerina Monte/DMS