Title: Fallout from Attacks on Marcos: Potential Consequences for Duterte and his Allies

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Bacolod City: Duterte Turns Prayer Rally into Protest against Marcos

Former President Rodrigo Duterte and his supporters recently held a prayer rally in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, which quickly turned into a protest against President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. This unexpected turn of events has raised concerns among administration allies, who believe that these attacks could backfire on the outspoken leader.

The Rally and Protest

The rally took place in Quezon Park, where speakers, including Duterte himself, addressed the crowd from a truck equipped with a sound system. Chanting “BBM resign,” the attendees expressed their dissatisfaction with Marcos.

Duterte’s Criticism of Marcos

In his speech, Duterte criticized Marcos, labeling him as a “dismal failure.” He urged Filipinos to resist calls for charter change, emphasizing the need to stand against any attempts to alter the country’s constitution.

Joining Duterte at the rally were his son, Davao City Mayor Sebastian Duterte, former Executive Secretary Vic Rodriguez, former Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque, and Glen Chong, a former congressman from Biliran.

Controversies Surrounding the Rally

Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Remollo described the crowd as a “flash mob” consisting of approximately 500 supporters who were bused in to attend the event. The organizers had initially applied for a permit for a prayer rally, but informed the city authorities just four days before the event that national personalities would be attending, effectively turning it into a political gathering.

The city police advised Mayor Remollo to withdraw the permit due to the need for additional reinforcements and the lack of time for proper coordination. However, the organizers decided to proceed with the rally without obtaining a new permit, leading to a compromise that allowed them to hold the rally at the city park. Remollo emphasized that the authorities followed a policy of “maximum tolerance” during the event.

Possible Fallout for Duterte

Meanwhile, members of the dominant party in the House of Representatives and the President’s Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) expressed concerns that Duterte’s attacks on Marcos could result in “mass desertions” from his own party, the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP), and his daughter’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP).

In a press conference, House Deputy Majority Leader and Isabela Representative Faustino Dy suggested that PDP and HNP members who disagreed with the current situation in their parties and supported President Marcos might defect to other parties such as Lakas-CMD and the PFP. Dy emphasized that negative politics should have no place in the country, especially as the President strives to revive the economy in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Deputy Majority Leader and Tingog Party-List Representative Jude Acidre challenged PDP members to choose between supporting the country or tolerating the divisive language of their party chairman, Duterte. Acidre stressed that anyone attempting to divide the nation should be held accountable, politically or otherwise.

Despite Duterte’s remarks, Acidre believed that some PDP members still supported Marcos and Speaker Martin Romualdez. He cited PDP President and Palawan Representative Jose Alvarez’s statement, distancing the party from the former president’s comments.

Assistant Majority Leader and Manila Representative Ernesto Dionisio Jr. echoed Acidre’s sentiments, urging PDP members in Congress to support the President. Dionisio called for patriotism and urged politicians to prioritize the country’s interests over personal gain.

House Assistant Majority Leader and La Union Representative Francisco Paolo Ortega V commended President Marcos for his work and expressed his belief that many PDP members continued to support him. Ortega emphasized the importance of unity and urged fellow party members not to be driven by personal political interests.

Source: The Manila Times

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