Evasco: Groups displaced by Duterte may plan coup
CEBU CITY—Cabinet Secretary Leoncio Evasco Jr. on Saturday said he would not be surprised if some groups dissatisfied with President Duterte would stage a “coup,” but he stressed that these people would not succeed.
Evasco said generals included in Mr. Duterte’s drug matrix, businesses affected by the government’s drive against contractualization, and businessmen with interests in the United States would naturally be angry at the President.
“Do you think they will be happy? All of those who will be dislocated by Mr. Duterte will look for an armed component to throw him out of power one of these days,” he said in a press conference.
“That’s what you call a coup d’etat. But I tell you, if you are thinking and planning to do that, I will tell you you will fail,” he added.
Movement for change
Evasco was in Cebu to attend the launching at Cebu Coliseum of Kilusang Pagbabago (KP), or movement for change, a nationwide initiative in response to the President’s call for participatory governance by consolidating all his forces into an organized mass movement.
At least 8,000 Duterte supporters took the oath as KP members.
The movement is a reflection of the people’s support for Mr. Duterte, he said. Its objective is to not only respond to calamity and disasters but also to protect the country against attempts at destabilization.
Addressing criticism of Mr. Duterte’s war on illegal drugs, he said most Filipinos were actually pleased with its results and thus, would make a successful coup unlikely.
“A coup will only be possible if there is mass anger toward the administration. But if people are contented because government services are reaching their doorsteps and government is responding to their basic needs, (a coup will fail),” Evasco said.
People are aspiring for a drug-free country and that they, too, are in favor of killing drug lords and peddlers, he said.
More than 16 million people voted for Mr. Duterte in the May presidential election. Describing the drug scourge as a pandemic, he vowed to stamp out illegal drugs within six months of his presidency.
Since July 1, a day after he took office, more than 1,200 people had been killed in police-related drug operations.
Another 2,140 deaths allegedly related to narcotics and blamed on vigilantes and criminal gangs are under investigation.
“Some groups are complaining that many people aren’t batting an eyelash at all on who have been killed, but they don’t know they are just in favor of it,” Evasco said.
He said he was an advocate of human rights and that it was correct at all times. But advocating human rights when the five pillars of justice have collapsed would be an unpopular position, he added.
“If you do this, it will be perceived that you are on the criminal’s side,” Evasco said. TVJ