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“I am not silencing my critics”, Duterte

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To address the issue being thrown at him, President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday denied the allegations that he was using his power to silence his critics, telling that he has given them the opportunity to “talk and talk” on a daily basis.

Duterte said in his têtê-a-têtê” with Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo in Malacañang, “I have yet to sign anything ordering the arrest or silencing of anyone especially the critics.”

“The fact that they’re doing it everyday only shows that I’m giving them the time of their lives to talk and talk,” he added.

The opposition lawmakers criticized the President’s Proclamation 572 revoking the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV given by former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

Duterte insisted that there were some flaws in the granting of amnesty to the mutineer-turned-senator.

“Yung kay Trillanes, may nakita kasi si SolGen Calida na mali. Pag mali, mali. Walang magagawa ‘yan (Solicitor General Calida saw something wrong. If its wrong, its wrong. You cant do anything about it)…any lawyer will always agree with me that it (amnesty) is personal and exclusive to the President,” Duterte pointed out.

The President said that former Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin must be held liable for “usurpation of authority” when he recommended the amnesty grant to Trillanes and several others in 2011. He said Gazmin made the recommendation and “approved it himself.”

Duterte was also heavily criticized over the prosecution of detained Senator Leila De Lima, who is also among his staunchest critics, due to drug-related charges.

This is what made others think that he is out to silence all his critics.

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