“It is obvious who is intimidated.”

Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday urged the public to reject President Rodrigo Duterte’s threats to troublemakers that followed a protest in Quezon City over lack of food distribution.

“Sa loob ng tatlong taon, wala na tayong ibang narinig mula sa pangulong ito kung hindi gulo, barilan, patayan. Puro pananakot! Puro panggigipit! And now that we are confronted with a life-threatening crisis — an existential threat indeed — all he can offer is more VIOLENCE,” the detained lawmaker said in a statement.

“Who gave him the right to threaten and instill fear in the very people that he is owing his power from?” she said.

The Duterte critic, in detention for what she says are trumped-up drug cases, said the president should answer questions over how P275 billion in emergency funds would be used.

“Baka balak gawing retirement fund ng Duterte and friends, hindi kaya? How many times has he addressed the nation sensibly in his late-night shows? None. Zero. Because there was nothing in his rambling speeches that indicated his genuine concern for the welfare of the Filipino people,” she said.

“Pinapapili na lang ata tayo ni Duterte ng kung anong klaseng kamatayan ang gusto natin: (1) Mamatay sa COVID-19? (2) Mamatay sa gutom? (3) Ipapatay nya?”

Duterte on Wednesday ordered law enforcers to shoot troublemakers who resist authorities and put their lives in danger:

“My orders are sa pulis pati military, pati mga barangay na pagka ginulo at nagkaroon ng okasyon na lumaban at ang buhay ninyo ay nalagay sa alanganin, shoot them dead. Naintindihan ninyo? Patay. E kaysa mag-gulo kayo diyan, e ‘di ilibing ko na kayo. Ah ‘yung libing, akin ‘yan. Huwag ninyo subukan ang gobyerno kasi itong gobyerno na ito hindi inutil.”

Early Thursday, national police chief Archie Gamboa told the ABS-CBN News Channel they would not shoot troublemakers:

“Of course not, probably the President just overemphasized on implementing the law in this time of crisis. Of course not.”

De Lima said “Duterte’s message to the nation last night only exposed further his administration’s inability to hold the nation together, and thus, his desperate attempt to cling to power under a reign of terror and fear.”

“‘Do not intimidate the government. Do not challenge the government?’ It is obvious who is intimidated. Alam na natin kung sino ang takot sa sambayanang hindi na magpapaloko o magpapa-api kailanman.” (PressONE.ph)