MANILA, Philippines – The Palace is taking seriously rumors of a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by January 2017.
"We take any destabilization move seriously whether it’s rumor or it’s A-1 information. It’s against the law...It’s inciting to rebellion," said Communications Secretary Martin Andanar during a Palace press briefing on Tuesday, September 20.
Andanar said he received information about the supposed plan from "'credible sources in the United States."
In fact, he already has the names of the persons involved in the plot.
"We are aware of this and we have names, I’ve received names but I’m not going to mention [them] because I was once a journalist and we might be charged [with] libel," he said in a mix of English and Filipino.
These names will undergo a "vetting" process as part of the investigation.
Andanar warned those involved to think twice before planning to oust Duterte.
"Whoever is planning an ouster or a coup d’etat, just be careful with what you do and just make sure that whatever you do is within the bounds of the Constitution," he said.
"Just think twice because it is not lawful when you bring down a government. And rest assured that we will protect our President," Andanar added.
Rumors of a plot to oust Duterte surfaced amid a Senate investigation looking into extrajudicial killings under his administration and his involvement in the so-called "Davao Death Squad." – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.