Death threats vs priests may be from pranksters, anti-Duterte trolls – Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — Death threats received by Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas and three other priests could be from “pranksters” or staged by “anti-Duterte trolls” to put President Rodrigo Duterte in a bad light, Malacañang said Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who also serves as primary legal counsel of Duterte, even said those death threats could also be from “personal enemies” of the clergymen.
This while he dismissed that death threats sent thru text “is the easiest and convenient thing to do.”
Villegas and Fathers Flavie Villanueva, Robert Reyes, and Albert Alejo earlier said each of them has been receiving death threats.
During a press briefing on Monday, the priests presented some excerpts of the death threats they supposedly received.
Before this, Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, a vocal critic of Duterte’s drug war, also said he has received death threats.
David has earned the ire of Duterte, who even threatened to kill him in November 2018.
The President also accused him of being involved in the drug trade and pocketing church collections.
Sought for a comment on the matter, Panelo said in a text message: “(It) could be coming from pranksters, or could be from anti-Duterte trolls to put PRRD (President Rodrigo Roa Duterte) in bad light or from personal enemies of the priests.” Panelo told reporters in a text message.
“Sending threats via text messages is the easiest and convenient thing to do, (because) you can’t trace the source,” he added. /kga
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