By ROGER M. BALANZA
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo played sadist on Sunday by rubbing salt to injured pride of the political opposition and its supporters whose much-touted million-people Oust Duterte People Power Protest Rally in the capital on Saturday, February 22, miserably went pffft!, with only a few hundred people turning up for the mass action.
Skewering the event as a futile attempt by critics, led by the opposition Liberal Party, to oust President Rodrigo, Panelo said calls to oust the President from office could never succeed.
Less than 100 protesters attended the rally. (Ousting the President) is just a pipe dream, he said.
The Saturday event, three days ahead of the 34th anniversary of the 1986 People Power Revolution that ousted then dictator President Ferdinand Marcos, was planned by organizers to generate public support that would culminate in massive nation-wide protest rallies on February 25.
In an interview on Sunday with dzIQ, Panelo reiterated that removing Duterte from office is a mere “wishful thinking.”
He also taunted the number of protesters who gathered at the People Power Monument in Quezon City on Saturday afternoon and to demand Duterte’s resignation.
“Wala pang 100 yata ang dumating. ‘Yun ang sinasabi ko. Pipe dream lang yun (Less than 100 protesters, perhaps, attended the rally. That’s what I’m saying. It’s just a pipe dream). It’s a wishful thinking. Iyan ang statement we have to make. Wala yun (That’s the statement we have to make. It’s nothing),” Panelo said.
Members of the Oust Duterte Movement, led by Kilusan Kontra China, Bunyog, and Confederation against Federalism flocked to the People Power Monument on Saturday to express their anger at Duterte.
The Quezon City Police District estimated that the crowd at the monument was only around 100. Public support and enthusiasm for the protest rally could have been doused with cold by Vice President Leni Robredo, who distance herself from the rally.
The protesters flashed their placards with a call saying, “Duterte, resign now!”
Panelo said Duterte’s critics always wanted to unseat the President but never succeeded.
“They can always try. Wala. Hanggang doon na lang sila (But it does not flourish. That’s what they can only do),” he said.
Calls for Duterte’s resignation came just three days before the anniversary of the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, along with reports that some military officials are hatching up a coup d-etat to remove Duterte from Malacanang..
Last week, communist founder Jose Maria Sison claimed that there was also an attempt from some officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stage a coup against Duterte following the Philippines’ termination of the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States.
Sison alleged that the coup plotters are AFP officials who served as “assets” of the US Defense Intelligence Agency and Central Intelligence Agency and are “loyal to their pocketbooks rather than to the Filipino people.”
AFP chief-of-staff, Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. already dismissed rumors that some military officers have expressed opposition to the abrogation of VFA. (with PNA report)
Malacañang on Sunday said it already expects that the call for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster will not thrive.