Senators doubt, downplay ouster plot vs Duterte
Some senators are doubtful that a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from power would succeed, while some are questioning the veracity of such information.
On Wednesday, Duterte’s repeated claim of an ouster plot against him, supposedly involving the Liberal Party, communist rebels and even some soldiers, drew mixed reactions from senators.
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, president of LP, said whoever is giving Duterte “false and manufactured intelligence reports must be fired.”
“They should be giving him accurate information that he needs to know rather than dubious information that they think he would like to hear. Billions are spent on intelligence funds for fabricated information,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“During the Marcos regime, the dictator made the same accusations against LP, that there was collusion with the communists to justify martial law,” he added.
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, meanwhile, branded the so-called “Red October” destabilization plot as a “discredited fantasy tale taken from a Tom Clancy thriller.”
“”This is an old familiar tune and it sounds like a broken record. This opposition-communist ‘Red October’ destabilization plot is a discredited fantasy tale taken from a Tom Clancy thriller and being peddled by those who wish to undermine our democracy to justify the declaration of a so-called revolutionary government,” Drilon said in a text message to reporters.
He strongly denied LP’s involvement in such a plot, noting that they adhere to the rule of law and the supremacy of the 1987 Constitution.
“We are loyal to our democratic system where government leaders are chosen directly by the people through peaceful, ordely and honest elections,” said Drilon.
Pangilinan and Drilon also belong to the minority bloc in the Senate.
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis “Chiz” Escudero, meanwhile, doubt that the reported destabilization plot would pose a serious threat to the President.
“While it may be frustrating on his part considering how he treats the AFP upon his assumption as president, I think he is politically mature and experienced enough to understand that he cannot have absolute support of all the soldiers and officers of the AFP,” Lacson said in a separate text message.
“Other than the goodwill that he has established with the AFP, there will be elements who will cast their lot with the opposition for reasons that may have something to do with their career advancements.”
Lacson was specifically responding to Duterte’s claim that some soldiers were involved in a plot to overthrow him.
The supposed involvement of some soldiers in the alleged plot, he said, should not worry the President.
“That should not worry the President at all because he has the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the country’s armed services,” Lacson pointed out.
Escudero, for his part, believes that the destabilization plot was “unlikely” and “highly doubtful.”
“In the realm of possibilities, nothing is impossible,” Escudero said in another text message to reporters.
“I have no access to information that the President may have but, from where I am coming from, I believe it is highly doubtful and unlikely to the extent that it will pose a serious threat to the administration of PRRD [Duterte’s initials],” Escudero said. /jpv
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