Otso bets: New matrix a ‘desperate’ bid to smear Duterte foes
MANILA, Philippines — Senatorial candidates from the Otso Diretso slate have dismissed the latest matrix released by Malacañang, saying that it was a desperate attempt to smear the opposition days before the 2019 midterm election.
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay said the matrix, which links him and other Otso Diretso candidates and key opposition figures to destabilization, is meant to discredit them.
“May nasisiraan na yata talaga ng ulo (Someone must have gone crazy),” Hilbay told reporters before the Thanksgiving Mass for Otso Diretso at University of the Philippines-Diliman on Wednesday.
“I believe it is a sign of desperation on their part. Sila naman lagi ‘yong nahuhuling walang basehan, walang batayan ‘yong kanilang mga sinasabi (They are always caught with baseless accusations),” he added.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo showed a graph of organizations and people trying to discredit the government.
The Liberal Party, Tindig Pilipinas, Magdalo Group, and Otso Ditetso candidates Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II were implicated in the destabilization plot.
Panelo claims that the recent matrix was based on intelligence information given to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Former Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada has clarified that they do not approve of overthrowing the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Mukhang ang dinidescredit ni Panelo ay kami, at hindi sila, dahil unang-una, maliwanang na tinatanggihan po namin ang kahit anong plot sa administrasyon. Ang nilalabas lang po namin ay ‘yong mga issues na hinaharap ng ating taumbayan,” Tañada said.
(It looks like Panelo is discrediting us, not them. First, because it is clear that we refused to participate in any destabilization plot against the administration. We are only discussing issues that matter to the public.)
“Kinakabahan sila kung ano ang magiging sa resulta ng ating halalan kaya naglalabas sila ng paninira sa oposisyon,” he added.
(They are afraid of the possible results of the election, so they are trying to discredit the opposition.)
Meanwhile, Alejano said he does not know and has never met the person who claims to be “Bikoy” and Rodel Jayme, who were allegedly involved in the Ang Totoong Narcolist video. He also assured that he will call for accountability if Bikoy’s accusations were proven false.
“Dalawa lamang sa information na inilabas ni Bikoy. Una, pwedeng mali, pangalawa pwedeng tama. Kapag mali, malicious, managot dapat si Bikoy at mga tao sa likod niya. Pero kung tama, malaking dagok sa ating bansa,” Alejano explained.
(Bikoy’s accusation could be true or false. If it is false, then it is malicious and he should be prosecuted. But if the information is correct, this is a big blow to our country.)
Alejano cautioned against dismissing the allegation right away because it is not ordinary information.
This is not the first time that Malacañang made pronouncements about opposition groups supposedly trying to oust Duterte from his post.
In 2018, military officials said that LP and Magdalo were conniving with communist and leftists groups in an attempt to overthrow the government, dubbed the “Red October plot.”
In April this year, a national broadsheet ran a story about a matrix linking media organizations to a destabilization plot and releasing the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series, which accused Duterte and his close relatives and allies of involvement in the drug trade. /ee/ac
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