Panelo tells Bayan leader: Accept defeat

Salvador Panelo

MALACAÑANG yesterday slammed Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) secretary general Renato Reyes for linking President Rodrigo Duterte to alleged “systematic cheating” in the midterm elections.

The Palace official asked Reyes to be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat “even as we are magnanimous in our triumph.”

Reyes accused Duterte of using government resources to favor administration bets, asking the military and police to harass progressive party-lists and candidates, spreading disinformation and controlling the Commission on Elections (Comelec) which is under criticism for the glitches that occurred during Monday’s election.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo scoffed at Reyes’ claims, saying these were expected following the “crushing defeat” of “many” left-leaning party-list groups and their candidate for senator, Neri Colmenares.

“Unfortunately, Mr. Reyes -- instead of throwing in the towel and yield to the resounding voice of the electorate -- opts to throw his false and malicious narratives at the Duterte administration. All his claims have not been backed by any semblance of evidence and can easily be fact-checked,” said Panelo.

Panelo added half of the Comelec commissioners are appointees of former President Benigno Aquino III and that supporters of the administration candidates remain vigilant to protect their votes from being altered.

The Palace official stressed Duterte will never interfere with the election process, “as well as frustrate the sovereign will of the people, for such is the very process which propelled him to the presidency.”

“By ‘Duterte magic,’ we mean the total package of sterling performance and good governance the President delivers to the people. It is also his empathy towards the ordinary Filipino as against those who, until now after the elections, cannot comprehend the voice of the majority opting to turn a blind eye to it,” said Panelo.

The Palace spokesman also cited Duterte’s “decisive actions” in resolving various local and national issues, as well as creating solutions to uplift the lives of the citizenry.

“These, among others, comprise the ‘Duterte magic’ which carried his candidates to a resounding victory,” he said.

Panelo said the loss of left-leaning groups was a “clear indictment” that the people do not believe in their “advocacies” against the President especially the war on drugs, extrajudicial killings, South China Sea and one-man rule.