Former chief presidential legal counsel and now senatorial aspirant Salvador Panelo on Monday hailed President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s (PRRD) remarkable career as a public servant.
In a press statement, Panelo thanked Duterte for letting the Filipinos exercise their right to vote without any attempt to influence their choice of candidates in the May 9 national and local elections.
“Salamat PRRD kasi dahil sa’yo malaya at ligtas na makakapili ang mga Pilipino ngayong araw ng mga susunod na pinuno ng bansa. Salamat dahil pinahalagaan mo ang sagradong karapatan ng Pilipino na bumoto (Thank you, PRRD, because the Filipinos can freely and safely choose their preferred presidential candidate. Thank you because you value the Filipinos’ sacred right to vote),” Panelo said.
Panelo donned a black tee shirt with a catchline, “Salamat (Thanks) PRRD,” and a photo of Duterte, when he cast his vote at the Kapitan Moy Elementary School in Marikina City.
Paying tribute to Duterte, Panelo said this year’s elections signify the Chief Executive’s resolve to serve the public without abusing his power.
This, as he chided Duterte’s critics who repeatedly claimed that the President would declare martial law to extend his term in office.
Panelo also slammed the members of the opposition who made false accusations that Duterte would take advantage of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic to postpone the 2022 elections to enable him to remain in power beyond his term.
“Kami na ang magpapasalamat sa inyo, dahil kahit nagkamali ang mga kritiko sa mga layunin mo, hinding-hindi sila aaamin, hihingi ng tawad, o magpapasalamat sa mga nagawa mo (It’s my way of thanking you because critics are wrong about their claims against you. They will never admit their mistake nor apologize or thank you for what you’ve done),” he said.
Despite the criticisms thrown against him, Duterte did his best to serve and protect the country, Panelo said.
Panelo said ending the terror acts of the Islamic State-linked Maute terror group in 2017 and rejecting calls for the proposed shift to a revolutionary government are proof that Duterte wants to maintain peace and order in the country.
He added that Duterte has imposed health protocols and ramped up the government’s nationwide immunization campaign to ensure the Filipinos’ protection from the Covid-19.
“Dahil dito milyun-milyong Pilipino ang nakalahok hindi lang ngayong araw ng halalan, ngunit pati na din sa mga campaign rally ng iba’t ibang kandidato (Because of it, millions of Filipinos were able to participate in the elections, as well as the campaign rallies of the candidates),” Panelo said.
Panelo said Duterte’s accomplishments and sacrifices would always be appreciated.
Duterte, who is set to step down from office on June 30, reiterated Monday that he is willing to help his fellow Filipinos even after his term ends.
“Daghang salamat sa inyong tanan sa paghimo nakong Presidente. Ako magpabilin ni yong sulugoon (Thank you very much to all of you for making me President. I will remain your servant),” he said after casting his vote for the 2022 elections at the Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School in Davao City.
Source: Philippines News Agency