Palace to opposition: let’s engage in healthy debates

Published January 14, 2019, 9:52 AM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling 

With the people fed up with destructive politicking, Malacañang has appealed to the political opposition to engage the administration in healthy debates on programs for the nation.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said recent survey showing President Duterte’s high public trust and approval ratings indicated the failure of the opposition’s attacks against him.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

“The December 2018 Pulse Asia rating should serve as a timely reminder to the rabid political opposition, especially to the loose cannonball critic, outgoing Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, that the continuous assaults against the President and his administration are falling flat on their faces with the rise of PRRD’s approval and trust ratings,” he said.

“For a change and for the good of the nation, we urge the political opposition to engage the administration in a healthy debate of programs and platforms productive and beneficial to the Filipino people,” he added.

The Palace said they expect the political noise to escalate with the forthcoming election period but reminded the President’s detractors that destructive politicking was not working.

“The handwriting on the wall as graphically shown by the survey figures is glaring. Our people are fed up with the destructive politicking dished out by the opposition and PRRD’s critics and detractors,” he said.

“Filipinos want to maintain the visible and continuing genuine change, as well as the tangible results they are witnessing and experiencing under the current leadership of the President,” he added.

Panelo also hit back at Trillanes for calling the President crazy, saying the senator was referring to himself. He said the former rebel soldier’s rant showed he was “in mortal fear of going back to jail.”

“Senator Trillanes’ latest attack against the President, even calling him “baliw,” because criminal charges have been filed against him for his transgressions, is a distorted, if not a fallacious argumentation. When he described PRRD as “baliw,” he must have been referring to himself and correctly so,” he said.

He said Trillanes’ tirade against Duterte goes against the sentiments of 81% of Filipinos approving the President’s performance and the 76% trusting him as Chief Executive.

“He pompously claims he is not afraid of facing the criminal suits against him but his partisan vociferous rantings show that he is in mortal fear of going back to jail,” Panelo added.

A Pulse Asia survey, conducted last December, showed the President ending 2018 with higher approval and trust ratings.

In the survey of 1,800 respondents, Duterte obtained 81 approval rating, compared to 75 percent in September 2018. His trust rating also reached 76 percent in December survey from 72 percent in September.

The Palace earlier welcomed the latest survey results, saying a huge majority of Filipinos have ignored the critics’ tirades against the President. Panelo claimed that the survey was a repudiation of the critics and detractors who refuse to see the good in whatever the President does and says.