An intelligence officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) disclosed over the weekend that the police’s intelligence networks have received reports that supporters of presidential aspirant Rodrigo Duterte had started deserting him.
The intelligence officer who requested anonymity said police intelligence personnel have monitored that some of Duterte’s supporters withdrawing their support for his presidential run.
“They (Duterte’s supporters) are withdrawing their support from him one by one,” the officer said.
The intelligence officer added that Duterte’s supporters were disenchanted by his recent actions and pronouncements.
The officer said the mayor’s remarks regarding the 1989 rape-slay of Australian missionary Jacqueline Hamill did not sit well with many of his supporters.
“What we got is that some of his supporters were not really amused by his joke on the fate of the Australian missionary,” the officer said.
“In their mind, Duterte is self-destructing,” he added.
Meeting INC leaders
On Saturday, Duterte confirmed that he met with the leaders of the influential Iglesia Ni Cristo.
The mayor said he met with INC executive minister Eduardo Manalo on Friday morning before attending his campaign rallies in Cavite.
The mayor, however, said he and Manalo did not talk about soliciting support in the elections.
“Wala ho. Ano ang mabuti sa Pilipinas [Nothing. What will be good for the Philippines],”
Duterte said when asked what he and Manalo discussed.
Duterte said there were no commitments made by the INC regarding its support.
“Walang pinag-usapan [Nothing was discussed],” Duterte said, adding that it was him who
wrote the INC to ask for a courtesy call and a dialogue.
“Ako ‘yung nagsulat, naghingi ako ng pakipag-usap kung puwede at puntahan ko [I was the one who wrote to them, I asked for a meeting and asked if I may visit them],” he added.
In a statement sent to the media, Duterte said he explained his program against crime and corruption and his bid for the institution of a federal form of government to INC leaders.
“Ako ay nagagalak at naging positibo ang pagtanggap dito ni Ka Eduardo [I’m happy that these were positively received by Ka Eduardo],” he said.
Duterte said he will respect the decision of the religious group if it decides to support any of his rivals.
Other presidential candidates like the Liberal Party’s Manuel Roxas 2nd and Vice President Jejomar Binay had also recently met with INC leaders.