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Malacanang downplays Duterte’s endorsement power: Hindi siya magician!

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President Rodrigo R. Duterte does not think that he possesses any “magical” power to endorse candidates of his choice in the upcoming mid-term elections, Malacañang said on Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo was responding to analysts and observers saying that the May elections would test the President’s power to endorse his candidates.

“I don’t think the President believes in his so-called magical power to endorse,” Panelo said in a Palace briefing, noting that Duterte is simply backing candidates he feels are worthy of getting a Senate seat.

“What he’s giving the people is, ‘These are the people that I personally feel are capable of being in the Senate,’” he added.

Panelo disagreed that the failure of administration allies to win in the mid-term elections would mean voter rejection of the Duterte administration.

“I think the President will agree with me that the — even the winning of an opposition candidate doesn’t mean a repudiation of the administration,” he said.

“It only means that when opposition candidates win, it is an expression of the electorate telling them that we’re putting you there to cooperate with this administration because we believe in this presidency and not you to destabilize it,” he added. (PNA)