Presidential son Paolo “Pulong” Duterte has named Vice President Leni Robredo as part of a plot moving to remove President Rodrigo Duterte from office.
Other than Robredo, Pulong’s list of coup plotters includes former government officials, members of the church, journalists and militant groups, among others. The list was posted by Pulong on Facebook.
Malacañang on Monday, December 11, said there is no need to conduct a probe on Pulong’s list of individuals and groups that are allegedly conspiring to oust President Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after the presidential son posted a so-called “Oust Duterte Movement” list on his personal Facebook account.
“We’ve been hearing conspiracies from the start of the [term of the] President and I’ve been saying that is natural for the opposition to conspire to oust the President,” Panelo told reporters in an interview after the regular Palace briefing.
“If they perceive him to be a bad President, then it’s their duty as far as they’re concerned to conspire,” he added, but noted that the Palace will not allow any act that violates the Constitution.
Panelo, however, said conspiracies mean nothing if the people behind it do not make plans to carry it out.
“Even if there are conspiracies if there are no overt acts to pursue that conspiracy the government will not mind,” Panelo said.
He said he will also ask the former Vice Mayor to explain the reason behind releasing such list.
Palace may also consider asking law enforcement or national security authorities to verify the alleged plot if there should be a formal request made, he added.
Freedom of expression
Panelo, meanwhile, said Palace respected the former Vice Mayor’s release of the list, noting that it is part of his “freedom of expression” and that personalities mentioned there always refute the allegations.
“First, we are not privy to the list issued by the former Vice Mayor. Number two, the President always respects the freedom of expression,” Panelo said.
“The [former] Vice Mayor then might have some reasons for issuing such a list, we do not know. And anybody who feels aggrieved, they can always refute the allegations contained on the list. That is the beauty of democracy,” he added.
Asked if the President had plans to speak to his son, Panelo said the President does not talk to any of his children about matters with respect to their principled positions or political decisions.
“He respects the decision, the stand of the children. Malalaki na sila e (They’re already adults),” Panelo said, noting that the former Vice Mayor is “competent enough” to explain his actions.
Panelo also pointed out that it was the younger Duterte’s right to react to attempts to oust his father.
“The former Vice Mayor is a son and all sons will react to any plot, any conspiracy that he perceives to be against the father. So, it is his right to react to certain things that he knows that we do not know of,” Panelo said.
“That is his right, we cannot deprive this person of expressing his sentiment especially because he is a son and all sons have the right to defend, to neutralize any attempt to discredit or assault the reputation and integrity of a father,” he added.
Meanwhile, he expressed confidence anew that any attempt to overthrow the Duterte government will not succeed given the President’s high trust and approval ratings and strong relationship with military and police personnel.
“Given the popularity rating of the President, no coup or conspiracy will succeed. The PNP (Philippine National Police) and military are in support of the President as well as majority of the Filipinos,” Panelo said. (PNA)