'Nabudol-budol kami:' Duterte holding on to power for personal reasons - PDP-Laban exec

Benise Balaoing, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 26 2021 03:16 PM

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MANILA – A founding member of the ruling PDP-Laban said he regrets supporting Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 presidential race, saying the President is clearly holding on to power with his move to run for vice-president.

Lutgardo Barbo, who is also the party’s executive vice president, said Duterte is bent on staying in power for personal reasons.

“The President is bent on staying in power. Why? It’s not because of the national interest or purposes of national development. I think it’s because of some basic fundamental personal reasons, one of which is he would like to protect himself and wriggle away from very, very serious allegations which are now filed on record at the International Criminal Court,” he said.

Charges have been brought against Duterte at the International Criminal Court for alleged crimes against humanity committed in his administration’s bloody “war on drugs.”

"So perhaps he thinks that while in power, the long arm of the law cannot catch up with him because he’s in power. Perhaps he has his way of thinking that because most of the members of the judiciary are his appointees, he thinks that he can get away with wrongdoing,” he added.

Barbo said that Duterte may use the vice presidency as a backdoor to assume the country’s top post again, no matter who his running-mate might be.

"Assuming for the sake of argument that Bong Go and Duterte will run and both of them win. You can be almost sure that the backdoor is open for the President to be president again in contravention of the very clear provisions of the Constitution. Assuming it’s going to be Sara, and the president wins as vice president, the same thing will happen,” he said. 

Barbo said PDP-Laban founding members like him regret supporting Duterte, especially as they thought he would support federalism and end political dynasties in the country.

"Parang nagsusuka ba ako na ginagamit nila yung PDP-Laban na mga trapo naman sila. They are hijacking the political party."

"Nabudol-budol din. Na-scam, naniwala kami. Nagtiwala kami because here is the guy na pakipot-kipot pa, ayaw niya kunwari. Just like what he’s doing now pakipot-kipot including Sara, nagpapakipot-kipot pa, because the idea is kung ikaw ay nagpapakipot, lalo kang pipilitin and asking the people to clamor," he said.

He also said the Filipinos should no longer vote for any Duterte, or anyone with an attitude similar to his, adding the nation does not deserve a president who confuses his own people.

"We do not like that kind of a national leader. He should be…and he is taking us on a merry-go-round. And I think that’s somehow unfair for a public servant who is supposed to be the number one servant of the people."

"In the PDP-Laban we are trained: if you are a leader you have to lead the way, show the way, and go all out of the way. But here, he goes this way, that way, everywhere. As if he’s going everywhere, he’s going somewhere ending up nowhere,” he stressed.