SPDA chief says ICC’s plan to investigate President Duterte full of suspicion

By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL

Abdulghani “Gerry” Salapuddin

DAVAO CITY

Southern Philippines Development Authority (SPDA) Administrator and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdulghani “Gerry” Salapuddin has defended President Duterte on the International Criminal Court (ICC’s) move to investigate President Rodrigo Duterte for alleged human rights violation and possibly crime against humanity.

Salapuddin tried to rescue the President in his weekly column “Southern Frontier” published at the Philippine Muslim Today. He said the move and timing of the ICC based in Netherland to open the said investigation is ill-timed and full of suspicion.

The initiative to investigate President Duterte was taken by former ICC Prosecutor Mrs. Fatou Bensouda, a Gambian human rights lawyer.

Bensouda was replaced by Karim Assad Ahmad Khan, a Muslim British human rights lawyer last June 17, 2021.

Hence, Salapuddin suspected the Liberal Party the “mortal enemy” of the President that has something to do with the ICC plan to investigate the Chief Executive.

“I suspect the invisible hands of the Yellow opposition in the Philippines in tandem with their American and European partners and supporters are behind this new move against President Duterte, purposely to destroy his good image and outstanding performance as President in order to negatively impact on the candidate for President he’ll anoint and support in 2022,” Salapuddin emphasized.

As of this writing, Presidential daughter Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio is perceived as the front runner as the candidate of the administration for President.

As this developed, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has scheduled October 1-6, 2021 as the start of the filing of candidacy for the synchronized national and local elections in 2022.

However, according to the SPDA administrator/CEO the biggest problem of the opposition groups under the new political alliance 1SAMBAYAN is the overwhelming popularity of President Duterte at 91% trust rating polled by Pulse Asia as he enters his last year in office.

He stressed in the past, when the sitting President enters his last year in office, he/she registered very low trust rating. Sometimes, the past President garnered negative trust rating in his last year in office, according to Salapuddin.

But here is a “Probinsiyano” President from Mindanao, despite all the brick bats and attacks by the local and foreign media and the opposition groups, his popularity is skyrocketing to an unprecedented high approval rating of 91%, according to the SPDA administrator/CEO who was also the former governor and congressman of the Lone District of Basilan. Eventually he became also the House Deputy Speaker for Mindanao.

Maybe because the Filipinos saw and felt his tangible accomplishments. His BUILD, BUILD, BUILD infrastructure program had accomplished so much, overshadowing the combined accomplishments of his predecessors, Salapuddin further said. JIJ

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