Just politics, Duterte says of ‘destabilization’ threat
NAYPYITAW, Burma (Myanmar)—President Duterte has dismissed talk of destabilization as nothing but “politics.”
In an interview with reporters after his meeting with the Filipino community here on Sunday night, Mr. Duterte was dismissive when asked if he would prosecute those who were supposedly “destabilizing” his administration.
“It’s all politics actually. In the matter of going after them, it has not reached that level of violence—destabilization. It’s more of publicity … . The talk about destabilization I think is a bit too, well, it is just an exponential word, actually. It has no limit,” he said.
The President clarified that for “destabilization” to occur, “you have to have the kind of situation where there is already violence committed and imposed on the population whether they are with you or against you.”
“If they create problems, just like what is happening in Mindanao, if it goes out of hand and children are already targeted for killings, that’s a different story,” he said.
Malacañang officials and allies in Congress have warned against destabilization threats against the President, pointing to, among other things, an impeachment complaint against him filed in Congress last week.
“For as long as it is really a peaceful exercise of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s guaranteed under the Constitution,” Mr. Duterte said.