Duterte: Cory Aquino was only popular because of Ninoy's death

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Presidential Photo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 3) — President Rodrigo Duterte unleashed a scathing criticism of former President Cory Aquino, saying her popularity was due to how her husband died.

Speaking at an event in Davao City on Friday, Duterte said, "Itong kay Cory Aquino ganito ‘yan [With Cory Aquino, it's like this]. Cory Aquino may be popular. She is popular today. Why? For losing the husband in the hands of Mr. Marcos. But what is the fundamental reason why."

He added, "To the many — to those who really wanted to be freed from Marcos, that’s another feeling, maybe of gratitude."

Duterte delivered his speech a day after the 10th anniversary of Aquino's death.

He went on to say Aquino excluded Hacienda Luisita, her family's sugar estate, from the land reform program.

"When she said, 'I would like to declare land reform in all of the Philippines.' Hindi niya sinali ‘yung kanya [She didn't include her property]. She exempted her… So you ...what? The one who freed, emancipated… It’s incongruity, they call it."

Aquino, the country's 11th President, died in 2009 at the age of 76.

READ: Duterte: The country needs more citizens like Ninoy Aquino