DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/12 April) — Presidential candidate Rodrigo R. Duterte lashed back at Vice President Jejomar Binay who earlier called him “berdugo” (butcher) of the poor.
In an emailed statement on Tuesday, Duterte, the standard-bearer of Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, said Binay has committed a graver sin for his alleged involvement in corruption while he was mayor of Makati City.
“Ako daw berdugo, ako daw magiging berdugo. My God, (Mr.) Vice President, ikaw ang berdugo ng pera ng bayan (He says I’m a butcher, that I will become a butcher. My God, Mr. Vice President, you are the butcher of the people’s money),” he said before an estimated crowd of 50,000 at his rally in Taguig City on Monday evening.
Duterte declared he is the only candidate who can talk about drugs, criminality, and graft and corruption as he cited his experience as a special prosecutor who ran after officials in Mindanao who figured in graft cases.
“I have been with government for a long time. There is so much money. Do you know why I don’t want to steal? Because I was a prosecutor before I became mayor. I used to be a special prosecutor of the Tanodbayan, the body before the Ombudsman.,” he said
“Biro mo kung ako mismo maprosecute, makukulong ako balang araw kasi nagnakaw ako (Imagine me being prosecuted and being imprisoned because I stole from the people),” he added.
Duterte said he would not follow in the steps of the late president Ferdinand Marcos, father of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., so he would not dishonor his mother who was one of those who resisted the martial law regime.
Duterte’s camp meanwhile said it was humbled by the results of the latest poll conducted by the Social Weather Station where Duterte overtook Senator Grace Poe.
In an emailed statement on Tuesday, Leonco Evasco Jr., Duterte’s national campaign manager, said they will continue building on the momentum and “aim for a complete, decisive and indisputable victory.”
“We welcome this with guarded optimism, as we are fully aware that the battle is not yet over,” he said.
Duterte garnered 27 percent in the latest SWS survey, overtaking Poe who had 23 percent. Binay was third with 21 percent, while administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas II got 18 percent.
The survey was conducted from March 30 to April 2 with 1,500 respondents.
Duterte also topped the latest survey conducted by Pulse Asia from March 29 to April 3. He got 30 percent while his closest rival Poe only had 25 percent. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)