De Lima: Duterte trying to fool Filipinos again with 'new script' on WPS

Published May 15, 2021, 1:20 PM

by Vanne Elaine Terrazola

President Duterte is using a “new script” as a damage control after calling his jet ski campaign promise a joke, Senator Leila de Lima said on Saturday, May 15.

Senator Leila de Lima (Senate of the Philippines)

The detained opposition senator accussed Duterte of “trying to fool again” the public about his position on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) issue when he vowed not to withdraw Philippine ships from the disputed waters even China kills him.

“He calls it bravado we call them lies. Si Duterte na ang nagsabi, kung maniwala ka sa kanya, istupido ka (Duterte himself said that if you believe him, you are stupid),” De Lima said in a statement.

“This man who keeps on using his dirty tricks on the Filipinos has zero credibility. If there is one thing that we are sure about, it is the fact that he values kowtowing to China more over protecting our territory,” she added.

De Lima noted that Duterte issued a new statement after drawing flak for saying that his vow to fishermen to ride a jet ski and challenge China’s claim over the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) during the 2016 elections was just a “pure campaign joke.”

He called people who believed his remarks stupid.

“Dahil nga bistadong-bistado na ang kaduwagan, kasinungalingan at panlilinlang nya, kailangan ni Duterte ng bagong script para maging salbabida pangsalba sa sarili at sa mga alipores niyang ibinibida pa rin ang huwad nyang ‘tapang at malasakit’ (Because his cowardice and lies have been exposed, Duterte needs a new script to save him and his henchmen who still insist his false ‘courage and compassion’ slogan),” De Lima said.

“Sa limang taon nya sa puwesto, klaro na sa mga Pilipino ‘yong totoo: #DuterteDuwag (In his five years of presidency, it is clear to Filipinos that Duterte is a coward),” she added, referring to the hashtag that went viral on social media.

In a recorded meeting that aired Friday, last May 14, Duterte told China that he would not withdraw Philippine ships from the WPS.

“Hindi talaga ako aatras. Patayin mo man ako kung patayin mo ako, dito ako. Dito magtatapos ang ating pagkakaibigan (I will not withdraw. Kill me if you have to, I will stay here. Our friendship will end here),” he warned.