BY ROGER M. BALANZA
The political opposition in cahoots with the communists are out to oust President Rodrigo Duterte in October.
No less than Duterte bared this plot being hatched up by Senator Antonio Trillanes, the Liberal Party (LP) which is led by Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino, and elements of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) of exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison.
Duterte said the information was supplied by a source from a foreign power, whom he did not identify.
Duterte said he has evidence to back up the information on the ouster plot set to be launched in October , but is not making it public to protect his source.
On Saturday, September 8, Duterte, in a press briefing upon his arrival at the Davao International Airport from his state visits in Israel and Jordan, said he would release the information if compelled by the court.
“Watch out for these groups,” Duterte warned.
While keeping the identify of his source a secret, Duterte, however, revealed that Trillanes would be one of the leaders of the coup.
Trillanes is agitating Filipinos to stand up against the President who last week revoked an amnesty granted in 2011 to the opposition senator by Aquino for his leading role in two failed uprisings — the Oakwood Mutiny of 2003 and the Manila Peninsula Hotel Siege in 2007 — against then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
“Trillanes has been sleeping with the enemy,” Duterte said.
Duterte said the alliance plans to launch the ouster plot into high gear in October — the period for filing of the certificates of candidacy for the 2019 midterm elections.
The President, however, said he is not perturbed by any ouster plot, saying: “I am ready to step down anytime.”
Duterte said even the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) need not intervene if its officials want to join Trillanes and cohorts to overthrow the government.
“I will just invite the Army officials for coffee. If they want I can administer the oath (of office for whoever wants my position. What will follow will no longer be my problem),” the President said.
Duterte said he was also not keen on checking the loyalty of military officials, although he noted that Trillanes hails from the military.
“At the beginning of my term as President, I’ve had several discussions and far and in between the months that followed, I’ve always stressed to the uniformed people of our government that they should not nurture in me or in anybody else in my Cabinet and government, loyalties,” he said.
He recalled telling the military officials: “You should focus your loyalty to the flag of the Philippines and the Constitution. I do not need loyalties.”
He pointed out that he was elected as President and intends to serve the people.
“Well, I will just work. If the Filipinos do not want me then I will step down. There is no problem,” he said. (with Lilian C Mellejor/PNA)