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Duterte warns Gloria: beware of student power
« on: February 25, 2008, 11:28:24 AM »
Duterte to Arroyo: Students can tilt power play
02/25/2008 | 09:34 AM

Sun.Star: DAVAO CITY -- President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo should not focus her attention on her political opponents, the military, and the police if she intends to continue her term.

Rather, she should keep track of how big and fast the student protests are growing because this can cause her downfall if unstopped.

The threats of the opposition and the armed forces will always be there, but the perception of strong dissatisfaction will be coming from massive protest actions of the young and that is when the elder ones start taking sides.

In his television program "Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa" Sunday, Duterte revealed that this was the advice that he gave the President when she called him up sometime last week.

He told her to be wary of the growing sentiments of the students against her administration, and should thus focus her attention on this sector.

"Ang pinaka-delikado ang mga estudyante. Kung mu-apil na sa mga rally, imo diay nang pamusilon (It's the student sector you have to keep watch of because if they all join rallies, you cannot just shoot them down)? If you give them reason to join the rebel group, musaka gyud dayon na sila sa bukid. Once masudlan ug bakukang sa utok ang mga estudyante, maglisod na gyud ka'g pugong (the young will go ahead and join rebel groups. Once the student sector takes up something, you can't stop them)," he said.

There is nothing much that parents can do to stop their children from taking up actions, and thus anyone who wants to stay in power should ensure that the massing up of students does not grow as it did before.

The mayor recounted how his daughter, Vice Mayor Sara, joined the massive rally against then President Joseph Estrada. Duterte said Sara joined the protest actions despite his strong opposition.

"Kalit lang to mi-abot sa among apartment ug nagdali-dali ug butang ug sanina ug tubig sa iyang bag. Muapil daw siya ug rally. Tapos milakaw na dayon (She just arrived at our apartment in a hurry packing clothes and water and saying she was joining the rally. And then she left)," Duterte recounted.

Duterte admitted he had some misgivings about what the Arroyo administration was doing with the controversy over the ZTE-National Broadband Nework project deal.

He said he blurted out all his frustrations to the President's regional adviser in the city who in turn informed Arroyo about his stand.

The President called up Duterte to discuss what he said.

Among the government's actions that he did not like, Duterte said, is the monitoring of personalities who are against the administration through the putting up of surveillance cameras.

"Such a stupid move. It's simply fascistic," Duterte said.

The mayor said the President simply accepted all his observations and bade goodbye thereafter. The phone conversation between the two was witnessed by city councilors who were in a meeting with the mayor that time. - Sun.Star

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