PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd warned that anybody, including him, could be killed anytime under a Rodrigo Duterte presidency.
The President sounded the warning as he criticized the Davao City mayor whose “tough talk,” he said, reminds him of the dark years of martial law when absolute power was wielded by only one man–Ferdinand Marcos.
While Aquino did not directly name Duterte, his warning referred to a presidential candidate “who is leading the surveys” and who is “dictatorial.”
“Di bale sana kung meron kang ipinapangako na bago e. Sa akin lang hong pag-iisip, ginawa na natin iyan e. 1972 hanggang 1986, ganun ang sistemang pinairal sa Pilipinas [It would be different if you’re promising something new. We’ve done that from 1972 to 1986, that’s the kind of system that we had],” the President said during Wednesday night’s meeting with local leaders in Cebu City.
Aquino noted that Cebu and Davao fought martial rule and vowed that it will never happen again.
“Tapos ngayon sa 30 anibersaryo ng EDSA ang lumalamang raw sa survey ‘yung mga tila magbabalik ‘nung ganung istilo: ‘Ako ang masusunod, pananaw ko lang ang tama, lahat nang hindi sumunod sa akin, humanda kayo [Now on the 30th anniversary of Edsa (revolution), someone who is leading in surveys is likely to bring back the same style: ‘I am the law, only my opinion is right, those who do not follow me should better be prepared],’” the President said.
Duterte has been leading the recent surveys conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia.
The mayor’s “no holds barred” style of politics may seem appealing to many people but Aquino said the people must be cautious.
According to him, a number of individuals have approached him to express their concerns on the threats posed by this “feared candidate.”
“Alam niyo ang daming nagsasabi sa akin: ‘Nakakatakot na ang pag-angat nito. Gawan mo naman ng paraan [So many have told me: This man’s rise is scary. Do something],’” Aquino said.
But the President feared that there is a chance that he may be the first to be silenced.
“Palagay ko kapag may nakita akong may nang-abuso, maninindigan ako ulit. Pero [ang]tanong… wan ko kung nakakasigurado tayong nandun pa kaya ako. Papopormahin pa kaya ako? Pwede ba niyong ipasa sa akin ‘yung responsibilidad na manguna? Dahil ako palagay ko kapag naisip ‘nung iba, ito ang pwedeng pumalag sa atin, baka ako ang unang mawala [If I see abuses being committed, I will stand up against it. But the question is, will I still be around? Will they allow me to? Can I take on the responsibility? Because I would think that those people would think that since I will stand up against them, I could be the one who will be eliminated],” Aquino said.
He admitted that he is “shocked” whenever he hears Duterte speak, because he has the impression that the mayor “picks up a fight whenever he opens his mouth.”
“Why would we allow such dangerous [man to]rule again? Let’s think long and hard. The people here should also talk to other people and ask why their bets are qualified. Because as I see it, the only people qualified for the job is Mar Roxas, together with Leni Robredo,” the President said.
Mar is the nickname of Manuel Roxas 2nd, the presidential candidate of the ruling Liberal Party.
Robredo is Roxas’ running mate.
The President said arbitrary detention and extra-judicial killings espoused by Duterte will not prevail under a democracy.
“Maybe there are people plotting against me. Yes, they could succeed, but it’s okay. I am at peace knowing that I have done something to be of help for our country. But if they think they can do it on all people, they are mistaken,” Aquino added.
“If you leave the people enraged, you will be at the receiving end of the People Power. By the time I step down, they could proceed with their evil plans. But the question is, can they beat us? I believe not. We had each other’s backs and I have proven that the people are dependable,” he said.
The President questioned Duterte’s health.
He explained that the Constitution mandates that the country’s leaders reveal the true state of their health.
He belittled the mayor’s ambitious plan of ending criminality in three to six months which statement he said Duterte took back.
“Hindi na ho tatlo hanggang anim na buwan ngayon, isu-suppress na lang niya. Pero okay rin e [It’s no longer three to six months, he will instead suppress it. But that’s okay],” Aquino quipped.