MANILA – Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has belied the latest statements of Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Jose Maria Sison against President Rodrigo Duterte and his administration.
In his Counterpoint program aired over state-run PTV4 recently, Panelo hit back at Sison for, among other things, commenting that the President looks sluggish, pale, and very sick.
“Ikaw kaya mag-presidente? Kita mo hindi ka nga presidente nagkakasakit ka kaiisip kung papano mo sisirain itong gobyernong ito eh yun pang president na ang iniisip naman kung paanong sirain yung pangarap mong sirain ang gobyerno (Why don’t you become president? You’re not even the president but you get sick thinking how to destroy the government while the president is thinking how to destroy your dream of destroying the government),” he told Sison.
Panelo told Sison not to be malicious.
“Isa lang ibig sabihin nun, kulang lang sa tulog yun. Number two, sa dami ng problema sa bansang to eh talagang hindi ka makakatulog, hahanapan mo ng solusyon (it only means that he lacks sleep. Number two, with the problems the country is facing, you won’t be able to sleep having to think about solutions to the problems),” he said.
Panelo said Sison’s description of Duterte as a tyrant, fascist, dictator, and mentally deranged fits Sison more than the President.
Panelo reiterated Duterte’s earlier statements that he has no intention of ruling and staying in power beyond 2022.
He said for several occasions, the President has attempted to leave the position because of the bureaucratic red tape, graft, and corruption in different government agencies even as he fired public officials, despite being his friends, over corruption involvement.
Panelo said it took him 10 long years to convince Duterte to run for the presidency back in 2016.
On the accusation of supposed militarization of the Cabinet, Panelo told Sison that being a military man doesn’t mean that they only know warfare and combat.
He said military personnel undergo “schooling” where they take up management or even obtain master’s degrees or a doctorate, in addition to the “discipline” they acquire from their training.
On the issue of supposedly using the anti-terrorism law as a means to “escalate state terrorism,” Panelo said the measure is not new since the country has the Human Security Act since 2007.
Panelo added that the country need not wait for another Marawi Siege or Jolo bombing before the government acts to terrorist activities.
Panelo, meanwhile, said the CPP-NPA-NDF is now weak since many of its members already returned to the fold of the law.
With this, Panelo encouraged Sison to go back to the country, do what the other members of his organization did and make amends and cooperate with the government for the betterment of the country and of the Filipino people. (PNA)