The one million-strong Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte National Executive Coordinating Committee (MRRD-NECC), which was instrumental in convincing the Chief Executive to run in the last elections, on Friday rallied its supporters all over the country to "defend the president at all costs" from moves to discredit the country's leader allegedly being hatched by sinister forces affected by his campaign against criminality, corruption and the economic status quo of a privileged few.
In a press conference held at the historic Club Filipino, MRRD-NECC leaders and supporters, who include top officials from various government agencies such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), vowed to offer strong resistance against such moves, stressing that Duterte's thrust to achieve genuine change is already taking shape.
"In less than six months of his presidency, the President has accomplished a lot in the areas of criminality and illegal drugs, corruption and the drive toward Federalism. In the process, many were affected by these serious campaigns, including those who used to gain from their evil ways," said MRRD-NECC chairman and TESDA director general Guiling Mamondiong said.
Mamondiong said the President is not only a leader for the rich or the poor but of all Filipinos.
"These threats on the office of the people's President will not prosper. Any supposed plan being hatched by anyone or group of removing him from office through unconstitutional means shall be dealt with blunt force by the millions of Filipinos who have had enough of the apathy, negligence and ineptness of previous administrations," he stressed.
President Duterte has been the subject of attacks for his determined campaign against illegal drugs, where critics accused him of launching targeted and deliberate killings of certain drug personalities.
There were reports about some sectors planning to oust him (Duterte), in the light of Vice President Leni Robredo's resignation from the Cabinet. Likewise, the name of a wealthy businesswoman is being linked to the same plot.
But MRRD-NECC believes that what is deliberate is the apparent campaign by the opposition and their affiliates to discredit the President before the international community by projecting an ugly picture of the anti-drug campaign.
"They use and abuse the term extra judicial killings or EJK with impunity when the fact is that EJK is a misnomer and an illusion. The term EJK already prejudges every murder committed against anyone as government-initiated which is not the case. There is no statute in Philippine laws that punishes EJK as a crime. It is a political term used to demean and discredit the government," explained Mamondiong.
The TESDA chief, however, stressed that like President Duterte, they believe that the rule of law must be upheld at all times in defense most specially of the weak.
"There is no president in the history of the country other than President Duterte who cared so passionately about the country's future. As he said, he will stake everything, even his life and the presidency in pursuit of his dreams of making the Philippines a better and safer place to live in," Mamondiong pointed out.
Also, the group credited Duterte for his determination to establish a Federal Philippines during his term, noting that he is by far the only president who was able to show genuine concern for Filipinos by empowering them.
"The government's campaign for Federalism is already in full swing. The DILG, through the People's National Movement for Federalism (PENAMFED) and its new president, former Batangas Mayor Sam Ocampo, we have done so much in a very short time. So far, we have campaigned in several provinces and cities and explained to tens of thousands of people the benefits of Federalism," said DILG Undersecretary Emily Padilla, the agency's focal person for the campaign.
"Under this government, the voices of the provinces have been heard and represented. Let us not allow the voices of the few thousands here in Metro Manila to derail the good works of our president. If they plan to muster a million in Metro Manila, we could muster more millions in Mindanao, Visayas and Luzon," DILG Undersecretary Jesus Hinlo, for his part, stressed.
MRRD-NECC said the whole country must unite in defense of the people's president and in support of all his reform programs and initiatives. The group maintained that Duterte is the country's last chance to achieve real and meaningful change for all.
MRRD-NECC leaders and members include Sec. Ismael Sueno (DILG), Sec. Guiling Mamondiong (TESDA), SBMA chairman Martin Dino, Rommel Padilla, Cesar Montano, Usec Emily Padilla (DILG), Usec John Castriciones (DILG), Usec Hinlo (DILG), Usec Virginia Orogo (DSWD), Usec Ranibai Dilangalen (DA), Usec Diosdado Padilla, Usec Noel Felongco (DENR), Asec Aimee Neri (DOJ), Asec Epimaco Densing, Asec RJ Echiverri (DILG) and National Tobacco Administration Administrator Wilfredo Martinez.
Source: Philippines News Agency