By Juan Escandor Jr.
NAGA CITY---President Duterte accused the Left of committing rebellion at the second day of the nationwide transport strike on Tuesday last week as he addressed the newly sworn in members of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Camarines Sur.
Saying he only wanted to do what is good to the country and the people, Mr. Duterte accused the Left of making big deal the plan to phase-out jeepney next year because of the health danger they produce from the exhaust of reconditioned engines.
He said he used to be civil with the Left and even acknowledged that the votes he got from Bicol were delivered by them.
“But there is a time for friendship as there is a time to be reasonable. As there is a time for reconciliation, a time for hatred. Ito ngayon Pilipino ang nakataya dito. Presidente ako ng bayan. I have to abandon the civilities and niceties of life, kasi noon mayor ako pasok kaibigan ko kayong lahat, boto ang pinag-uusapan natin dito e. Tayong mga politico, boto. And we can shake hands with the devil for one single vote,” Mr. Duterte said.
Defending the jeepney modernization program and pointing out the dangers of reconditioned and dilapidated public utility jeepneys (PUJs) being the president of the republic, he said Piston is making a big deal against the phasing out of PUJs next year.
“Dito ngayon sa mga namimilit na ayaw nila. O sabihin ko sa Piston and the rest of the Left, legal yan sila e. Huwag kayong ano, ako nagsasabi lang ng totoo, itong Karapatan, KMU, Piston, they are just the legal fronts of the Communist Party of the Philippines,” Mr. Duterte said.
Referring to the Left and the New People’s Army, Communist Party of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front, he said: “It’s a one big conspiracy, but they are at the same time, all of them are committing right now rebellion.”
Mr. Duterte said these legal and underground organizations are just helping each other.
He gave ultimatum to the operators of PUJ until the end of the year and ordered them to follow the order of phasing out 25-year-old jeepneys.