DAVAO CITY: Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who backed out ahead of the presidential elections next year, has tagged Liberal Party standard bearer and outgoing Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to be behind a black propaganda against him.
The 70-year-old Duterte denied the report of a journalist-turned-publicist that he was suffering from throat cancer and that this was the reason he backed out of the presidential race.
“The former journalist, now a PR man, who wrote about my throat cancer, is one of the puppets of political interest groups and politicians who lust for power and the money that comes along with it. One does not have to be a rocket scientist to understand that this PR man is promoting the candidacy of administration Presidential bet Mar Roxas,” Duterte said.
Duterte was referring to Philip Lustre, who wrote an article citing unnamed sources, about the alleged illness.
Duterte branded as “unfounded and malicious” the report written by Lustre. He said the article is a glaring proof of how corrupt the nation has become.
Lustre, in a Facebook post, said he stands by his story.
“I have an impeccable source, who knows the real score. The admission that he has throat cancer was not a concoction of my mind. It came from the Mayor’s mouth. It saddens me that the Mayor would not admit the actual state of his health. If he intends to run for president, he should make a full disclosure of his health situation. The people have the right to know,” said Lustre, who denied having a connection with Roxas
Duterte, meanwhile, also called on Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Grace Poe, to raise the level of political campaigning to a plane where the people are given the accurate picture of who the candidates are and what they could do for the country.