Duterte endorses folk singer Freddie Aguilar

MANILA President Rodrigo R. Duterte on Monday expressed confidence that folk singer Freddie Aguilar will make a good senatorial contender, urging Filipinos to give him a chance by voting for him in next year's mid-term elections.

During the inauguration of the country's first landport, the ParaAaque Integrated Terminal Exchange (PITX), Duterte described Aguilar, who performed during the event, as a nationalist since all his songs carry a social message.

Freddie is running for senator. Wala akong hiningi sa inyo, kung hindi (I'm not asking anything from you except to) just consider. He is a brilliant man, of course he can talk in English. But he's a singer--that is a profession. Lahat ng kanta niya (In all his songs), there is a social message, Duterte said, standing next to Aguilar on stage.

Kaya ako nakikiusap, tutal dose man 'yan, ibigay ninyo sa isang nationalist. Yung isang taong nagmamahal sa bayan (That's why I'm appealing to you, since there are 12 seats for senators, give one to a nationalist. A person who really loves the country), he added.

Duterte said Aguilar, known for his hit songs Anak, Magdalena, Bulag, Pipi, at Bingi, among others, have lyrics which have several messages for the Filipinos to remember.

Tulungan natin si (Let us help) Freddie because he is one exemplary, nationalist guy. He is my friend, he's a brilliant guy, he can talk, and he can help the country, Duterte said.

Maybe he can relate or translate his songs in Congress and give him a chance also, give him a platform to tell us about what he feels, he added.

By the end of his speech, Duterte raised Aguilar's hand saying: Vote for Freddie Aguilar.

Duterte also expressed admiration for Aguilar's protest songs which he said were meant for everybody to hear, including the government.

Seldom isang tao (It is seldom that a person) dedicate(s) his songs in Tagalog, in our native tongue. Listen very carefully, it is really a protest song for everybody to hear, kasama na gobyerno --yung pagkukulang natin (even the government--our shortcomings), Duterte said.

I admit it, we're doing a lot of things but still we have fallen short of our expectations of our country, but we will continue what we have," he added.

On Oct. 11, Aguilar came early to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) head office in Intramuros, Manila, to file his certificate of candidacy under administration party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

However, Aguilar, a known supporter of the President, was not on the PDP-Laban's list of senatorial candidates.

The six senatorial candidates under PDP-Laban are former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go, Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid Dong Mangudadatu, Senator Aquilino Koko Pimentel III, former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency