Sugar industry leaders back Duterte in impeachment battle

LEADER of the sugar industry have expressed support to President Rodrigo Duterte who is facing an impeachment complaint.

The group’s show of support is manifested in a statement released Thursday and published in local publications Friday.

The statement was issued by National Federation of Sugarcane Planters Inc. president Enrique Rojas, Panay Federation of Sugarcane Farmers Inc. president Danilo Abelita, Confederation of Sugar Producers Association Inc. president Francis de la Rama, and United Sugar Producers’ Federation of the Philippines Inc. president Manuel Lamata.

The names of the leaders of the associations under the four federations were also included.

They said they believe in the sincerity of Duterte and in his programs for the alleviation of poverty, the war against drugs and corruption, and the economic upliftment of the country.

“Despite the accomplishment of Duterte in poverty alleviation, the fight against corruption and the war against drugs, some self-serving people like Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano still dared to file an impeachment complaint against him,” they added.

The statement said they “condemn in the strongest terms the action of Rep. Alejano and we reiterate our commitment and support to Pres. Duterte in the midst of this impeachment complaint filed against him.”

On March 16, Alejano, who hails from Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, filed an impeachment complaint against the President because of the thousands of deaths due to the administration’s drug war, and for alleged corruption.

Alejano, who is allied with opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, said Duterte violated the Constitution and betrayed public trust.

The complaint, however, faces an uphill battle because Duterte has the support of the overwhelming majority in Congress.

Birthday wish

Duterte’s wish as he celebrates his 72nd birthday on March 28 is to have “more time, little strength to surmount the problems of the country.”

In an arrival interview at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City, the President said he could not ask for more because God has already given him “all the things” he deserve to get.

But if there is one thing to wish for, he said it is not “material things” but instead “more time and little strength” to perform his duties as the country’s highest official.

The President also wished that the Filipino would understand his decisions on how to address the problems in the country.

“I only ask for God’s help and more or less understanding [from the public, that] people will understand what we are doing,” he added.

The President also cautioned not to give him "expensive" gifts on his birthday, saying he does "not need it anymore."

Duterte said he would also be "very glad" to spend his time with his newest grandson Marko Digong "Stonefish" Duterte Carpio, and the rest of his children and grandchildren.

"That would have been the greatest gift I could ask in this planet," he said. (With reports from SunStar Philippines)
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