MANILA -- Malacañang on Wednesday called on the opposition and leftist groups to be “humble enough” to accept their defeat in the May 13 mid-term elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo slammed Bayan Secretary-General Renato Reyes for claiming the so-called President Rodrigo Duterte’s “magic” was “the systematic cheating and rigging of the elections.”
"We hope that Mr. Reyes would be humble enough to accept the electoral defeat even as we are magnanimous in our triumph,” Panelo said in a statement.
“Their strategy of attacking a non-candidate President who remains hugely popular amongst the people, registering an 81 percent public satisfaction rating in favor of his administration at the height of the campaign season, was simply wrong. It triggered a backlash against the opposition candidates," he said.
Panelo said the loss suffered by the left-leaning groups should be a "wake-up call" to them as it showed the public's non-agreement to the advocacies they are pushing for.
"Their loss is a clear indictment that our people do not believe in their advocacies, especially on the war on drugs, extra-judicial killings, South China Sea, one-man rule, etc., which they have foisted and peddled to the people. The electorate has seen through the sophistry of espousing their feigned brand of nationalism for many decades, taking advantage of the poor man’s plight," Panelo said.
"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," he added.
Panelo said Reyes' claims of irregularities have not been backed by any substantial evidence.
He cited that the leadership of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is mostly composed of appointees by former president Benigno S. Aquino III.
"President 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," he said.
Panelo also contradicted Reyes' definition of the "Duterte magic" and defined it as a total package of sterling performance, empathy, and good governance the President delivers to the people.
"It includes his 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 instead urged Reyes and the left to present an alternative platform.
"They should have presented an alternative platform of governance and discussed how their brand of politics would be much better than the kind that the administration candidates would provide," he said.
He also called on the opposition to set aside partisanship and work together for the betterment of the Filipino people.
"The sovereign voice has spoken. We urge the opposition, the critics and the detractors to bow to the majesty of the rule of the majority, lest we are swept away by the rampaging tidal waves of change," he said.
In a statement, Reyes claimed that the "Duterte magic" is the use of government resources to favor administration bets, use of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Philippine National Police to target and harass opposition groups, especially the progressive party-lists and candidates, control of the Comelec, and the hocus-pocus of the automated polls, martial law in Mindanao, and government-sponsored disinformation.
Latest partial and unofficial results showed that former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, the left's candidate for the Senate, is far from the winning circle of candidates at 24th place with 96.68 percent of votes already in. (PNA)