Oust Duterte matrix ‘cripple democracy’, distract public from issues
BINMALEY, Pangasinan — The so-called “matrix” showing the alleged links among personalities involved in a purported plot to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte, including the government’s red-tagging of its critics, “cripple” the country’s “democracy.”
Opposition members issued this warning on Wednesday as they also branded such “strategy” of the Duterte administration as mere ploy to distract the public from real issues in government and society.
“Matrixing, red-tagging, profiling cripple democracy. Mr. President, tama na ‘yung pananakot. Marami nang namatay, marami nang nasasaktan. Maraming hindi makasalita,” Gutoc, an “Otso Diretso” senatorial candidate and Marawi civic leader, told reporters in an interview before she and former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay paid a courtesy call to Binmaley Mayor Simplicio Rosario.
“Sa akin, malinaw na istratehiya [ito] para malihis sa isyu.” Hilbay, meanwhile, said. “Kasi siyempre ‘yung mga progresibong grupo, ‘yung ating mga media, wala silang magagawa kundi sumagot dahil itinuro sila. Ngayon, sa tingin ko ang epekto nun [ay] nalilihis yung atensyon.”
Hilbay then urged the public to “call out the President for this policy of distraction.”
“Tinuturo niya ‘yung media, tinuturo niya ‘yung mga progresibo, kung anu-anong akusasyon ‘yung pinupukol. Ang ibig sabihin nun, ayaw niya tayong mag-usap tungkol sa mga issue na importante sa mga ordinaryong mamamayan,” he added.
A major broadsheet on Monday published a diagram, titled “Association Matrix Between Bikoy and Ellen Tordesillas.” It claimed of links between a certain “Bikoy,” news site Rappler, media nonprofit Vera Files, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL) in an alleged scheme to supposedly unseat Duterte.
Bikoy is the name of the hooded personality that appeared in a series of viral videos accusing Duterte’s family members of having ties with and benefitting from a drug syndicate.
Rappler, PCIJ, Vera Files, and NUPL have denied allegations of conspiring to oust Duterte, with NUPL calling the controversial matrix a “putrid garbage” and “not worth the paper is it written on.”
Armed Forces of the Philippines public affairs chief Col. Noel Detoyato meanwhile said they have not monitored any specific threat to oust Duterte.
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