Manila: President Rodrigo Duterte took seriously supposed reports citing that three political groups have formed a de facto alliance and have hatched a plot to host him from power.
Duterte, quoting an unnamed “foreign power” as source of the information, said three groups are plotting for his ouster by October this year.
He said one of these is led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, another by the Liberal Party and the third, by the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
“Trillanes has been sleeping with the enemy,” the President said on Saturday in Davao City following his arrival from a five-day trip that took him to Israel and Jordan.
Trillanes had been locked in a war of words-cum-legal battle with the current administration after the President issued Proclamation No. 572.
The order renders the amnesty given to the Senator by the government of then President Benigno Aquino III, legally “invalid from the start” because Trillanes did not admit wrongdoing in the first place. Admission of guilt is necessary in asking to amnesty.
The Senator had taken an active part in three plots against the government of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2003 when he was still a navy junior officer and two other subsequent plots to seize power through military means in 2006 and 2007.
Duterte said that he does not fear such attempts to wrest power from him by the Liberal Party, CPP, Trillanes triumvirate. “I am ready to step down anytime, and hand power to them if they want it,” the President said.
Reacting to Duterte’s statement, opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan said the President’s accusations are “downright false.”
Pangilinan brushed aside Duterte’s claims that the political opposition is trying to undermine his administrations stability.
“On its own, either by its incompetence or corruption, the government is doing a good job of destabilising itself,” Pangilinan said.
“The accusation of destabilisation is downright false. It is ridiculous. Dissent is not destabilisation. Every time scandals and controversies hound this administration, whether it be corruption issues or issues of incompetent governance, it blames the opposition,” Pangilinan added.
Duterte in his speech on Saturday, said he has nothing to do with the order revoking Trillanes’ amnesty grant.
On Saturday, the independent pollster, Social Weather Stations (SWS) announced the results of a survey saying that Duterte had suffered an eight point drop in its net trust rating from Filipinos.
Nevertheless, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the drop, to 57 per cent trust rating in the second quarter of 2018 to the same period in 2017 (65 per cent) is still nothing to be alarmed off.
“We thank our people for their continuing vote of confidence for President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during this challenging time,” Roque said in a press statement.
The survey was taken from June 27 to 30.
“The Palace views the latest survey results with humility. However, we have to take note that regardless of ratings, the President remains focused on his job of governing the nation,” he added.
One of the reasons why there is a drop in the President’s trust rating is the continuing inflation.