Press Release
March 6, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 479:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on Duterte's cheap stunts vs OTSO DIRETSO


Duterte taunts the Otso Diretso candidates and says his endorsed candidates, especially Bong Go and Francis Tolentino, are better than them.

There is one sure way to prove or disprove Duterte's boast, a live and televised debate between his favorites Bong Go and Tolentino and anyone among the Otso Diretso candidates. The only problem is, Duterte's favored bets are content with hiding under Duterte's skirt, too afraid to engage in any kind of debate with their opponents.

In the first place, Duterte's own campaign in the 2016 elections was waged on pure gimmickry and uninhibited demagoguery, with no solid program of government on which to anchor his outlandish promises. This kind of campaign which has won him the presidency is the culprit for the directionless and chaotic governance of the country three years into his administration.

Duterte has the gall to tell Otso Diretso to go straight to hell. Well, the country is in hell right now, courtesy of Duterte's unfulfilled promises made during his hot-air campaign for the presidency and his unstable behavior. He is using the same tricks now with his candidates, hoping to fool Filipino voters twice in a row.

Shame on us if we let him fool us twice. By now, we clearly know that there are no short-cuts to good government. There are no magic portals to crime-free communities in six months. There are no crazy formulas to solving poverty or ending corruption. Only demagogues lead us to believe in such things to make up for the bankruptcy of their own visions and programs.

Duterte's promises are the same cheap promises being made by his senatorial candidates. Like empty shells when broken, they have nothing to show on how to fulfill these promises. This is the simple reason why Duterte's candidates will never engage the Otso Diretso in any debate.

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