Duterte: Some soldiers conspiring with Reds, opposition to oust me

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte discusses matters with the officials from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte–National Executive Coordinating Committee during a meeting at the Malacañang Palace on Tuesday, September 25. (Malacañang photo by Rolando Mailo)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte claimed he was displeased that some soldiers are in cahoots with the opposition to oust him from his post.

Duterte on Monday evening, September 24, told reporters in Jolo, Sulu that some of his troops were supporting Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, and were involved in plans to remove him from power.

“Ang sakit ko dito, kayong mga Liberal pati ‘yung ibang sa military, nakipag-ugnayan sila…yung mga sundalo na rebelde…Hindi ko maintindihan ang utak kung saan ang loyalty nila (I was hurt because some people in the military are communicating with the Liberal Party, those rebel soldiers. I can’t understand their loyalty),” he said.

“That’s my ill feeling toward those soldiers. I have no problem with them being angry with me. That’s nothing. But to go into a cahoots with the enemy? I can step down anytime. But the problem is the nation…If you are true to your country, do not bed with the enemy,” he added.

Duterte also said that if the opposition is determined to remove him from office, it should wait for the elections in 2022.

“If you do not like me as president – Duterte is inept, clueless, it’s okay. Fine. Just wait for the elections three years away,” he said.

Duterte dared the military to launch a coup if they think he is no longer capable of leading the country earlier this month. According to Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, the dare was made because Duterte was confident that the soldiers would not join destabilization plots against the government.

Last week,  Armed Forces Deputy Chief for Operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade claimed members of Trillanes’ Magdalo group, the Liberal Party, and the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) have hatched a plot dubbed “Red October.” This movement aims to destabilize the government next month, and would coincide with the international celebrations for Marxism and communism.

Duterte said unless it is supported by government forces, a destabilization plan would not succeed.

“You know, this plot, plot, plot. I have one thing to say: Nothing will succeed without the help of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. If the military, the armed forces and the police think I am no longer fit to become president, they just have to tell me,” he said.

“No more fights. They will end up fighting each other. If they want me replaced, I’ll go,” he added.

Robredo not involved in ouster plot

According to Malacañang, Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo was not connected with the ouster plans.

This was on Tuesday, September 25, after Robredo claimed that the Red October plot was a “dangerous and baseless” claim.

Presidential pokesperson Harry Roque said, “Well, as far as VP Leni is concerned, that’s a fair statement, because as far I know, she was not amongst those specifically named to be part of the conspiracy. She is after all the second highest elected official.”

“She took an oath to support the Constitution and she’s expected not to support any unconstitutional means to remove the president,” he added.

He said Robredo’s name was never mentioned by the military as part of the plot. He also stood by the accuracy of military intelligence information.

“We stand by the intelligence information as gathered by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, these are documents seized from members of the CPP and NPA (New People’s Army). It clearly provides for creating a broad coalition with Liberal Party members and the Magdalo. But again, I stress: you can do everything, nothing will happen. The support of the people is overwhelming for the president,” Roque said. 

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