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Cusi slams ‘smear’ job vs Rody

Energy chief notes Red Cross P2,000 test ‘overpricing’ and non-provision of senior citizens’ discount

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PDP Laban president and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi on Tuesday said the “increasing attacks” on President Rodrigo Duterte may be tied with next year’s elections.

Cusi called out the accusations raised by Duterte’s critics as “desperate attempts to thwart their looming defeat in the 2022 polls.”

The energy chief cited the President’s very high trust rating during the last year of his term as contrasted with the low numbers of his predecessors nearing the end of their respective terms.

“Why do critics abound? It is because the 2022 national elections are only a few months away and President Duterte, by far, still commands very high trust and satisfaction ratings,” Cusi said.

Duterte has registered an overall approval rating of 65 percent and a trust rating of 55 percent in a recent survey.

A Pulse Asia poll, on the other hand, showed Duterte as the leading choice for vice president in the 2022 elections with 18 percent of the respondents choosing him.

Cusi said that the current Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation on the procurement of alleged overpriced personal protective equipment last year is an example of the smear job against the President.

“This is why the opposition keeps on bringing up issues even without concrete evidence. They have to make the people hate this administration for them to have a chance at victory,” Cusi said.

He noted that the committee has been holding the hearings while its chair, Senator Richard Gordon, is embroiled in the alleged overpricing by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) of its Covid-19 tests paid for by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

Gordon as chair of Red Cross was also criticized over the organization’s failure to grant PhilHealth the law-mandated discount for the senior citizens who had been tested.

Cusi said PRC tests are overpriced by almost P2,000 each.

“The Philippine political history is replete with cases of credible people being destroyed because of politics, made even worse because the prevailing political system is based on personalities and not on principles,” he said.

Cusi stressed that PDP Laban advocates continuity, not personalities, but of programs, governance, and leadership, started by Duterte.

“President Duterte stands for principled leadership. His advocacy against drugs, criminality, terrorism, corruption, and poverty has resulted in positive changes and reforms. The people felt it, saw it, knew it. No matter what the critics say, President Duterte’s advocacies resulted in positive gains,” he said.

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