The Palace said Monday it was confident the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte in a plot called “Red October” would not triumph after the military warned that groups were still planning to overthrow the President in the coming weeks.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque backed the military’s claim linking the Liberal Party, Senator Antonio Trillanes’ Magdalo group, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the groups Tindig Pilipinas and Movement Against Tyranny to the so-called ouster plot.
“We have no doubts that the AFP has intelligence information on this. We have no doubts that the CPP-NPA has been out to overthrow the governments since they were founded,” Roque told reporters.
“We have no doubts that there are power-hungry individuals in the opposition who would like to resort to extra-constitutional means to bring down the government of President Duterte. And we have no doubts that the Magdalo group are addicted to coup d’états.”
In other developments:
• A “broad” coalition of communist rebels and President Duterte’s critics are conspiring to remove him from office in October, military officials warned over the weekend.
Communist leaders Rey Casambre and Satur Ocampo were allegedly leading the coalition, said Armed Forces of the Philippines Assistant Deputy Chief for Operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade.
• The Philippine National Police continues to monitor some groups plotting moves to unseat Duterte, an official said Monday.
But PNP Chief Oscar Albayalde said the actions appeared to be limited to discrediting Duterte since the alleged plotters themselves were aware that ousting Duterte was an impossible task.
• The plot to unseat Duterte was a serious accusation, Senator Panfilo Lacson said Monday and added it should not be taken lightly regardless of the basis of the information of the military.
If only for the fact that the AFP leadership itself had declassified such information, he said, the onus to show proof rested on their shoulders.
“Otherwise, we can’t blame the opposition groups, even the public, for suspecting that the AFP is engaging in some psywar to justify a “crackdown” as alleged by those opposing the policies of the administration in dealing with a wide range of issues ranging from human rights, even foreign relations,” Lacson said.
Roque said the government was complacent that the ouster plot would not succeed as the people were “overwhelmingly” supporting the President, citing the latest Social Weather Stations survey saying eight out of 10 Filipinos backed the administration’s war on drugs.
AFP deputy chief of staff for operations Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade said the previous Sept. 21 attempt was unsuccessful, but the plan for the next month called “Red October” remained.
“There will still be a plan this coming October. They call it Red October. That is the month of international celebrations for communism, Marxism, and IP [indigenous peoples],” he said.
“There are documents being recovered that they have an alliance with the Movement Against Tyranny for the Aklasan for the campaign to oust. Their objective is to oust Duterte with the opposition aligned with it, the Liberal Party and the camp of Vice President [Leni] Robredo and then Trillanes and then actually Magdalo.” With PNA, Francisco Tuyay and Macon Ramos-Araneta