Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided Mr. Duterte for fooling the Filipino people by using his deceptive tricks to win the 2016 election, particularly his promise to ride a jet ski to the Spratly Islands and plant a Philippine flag which he recently claimed as a “pure campaign joke.”
De Lima, the staunchest critic of the current regime’s crooked policies, said such kind of campaign tactic which has won Duterte the presidency is among the culprits for the inept and chaotic governance of the country five years into his administration.
“Duterte’s recent remark only affirmed what we already know: That he really has no plans to invoke our sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea. Joke lang para kay Duterte ang napaka-importanteng isyu sa bansa kaya patuloy ang pagkamkam ng Tsina sa ating teritoryo at pagnakaw sa kabuhayan ng mga mangingisdang Pilipino,” she said.
“Duterte’s campaign in the 2016 elections was waged on pure gimmickry with no solid program of government on which to anchor his outlandish promises that’s why all we can hear now are his excuses why he cannot execute. And he even has the gall to call those who believe in his campaign promise as stupid. Classic Duterte! Isa siyang napakalaking joke na nangyari sa bansa na hindi nakakatawa,” she added.
During a televised address last May 10, Duterte claimed that his supposed election promise to ride a jet ski to challenge Chinese incursion in Philippine waters was a “pure joke” and that those believed it were “stupid.”
“Panahon sa kampanya ‘yan at saka iyong biro na ‘yon, we call it bravado,” Duterte said of his statement five years ago wherein he said that he would ride a jet ski to the Spratlys in the West Philippine Sea, plant the Philippine flag in a Chinese airport on reclaimed land there, and tell Beijing, “This is ours.”
Duterte even said that he bought a secondhand jet ski, but spare parts for it have not arrived, adding that there would be no gasoline station for the jet ski in the middle of the sea, and that waves would be as high as ships.
De Lima, a former justice secretary, said Duterte’s reckless remark should remind Filipinos to choose worthy leaders who will prioritize the common good over their selfish interests in the next election.
“One year from now, we will be electing a new president and set of leaders. Let us not be fooled again by politicians like Duterte who are like empty shells that have nothing to show how to fulfill their mandate to the people,” she added. (30)