Two associate justices of the Supreme Court on Sunday denied taking part in any alleged plot to destabilize the administration or oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justice Marvic Leonen even described as a “joke” their inclusion in the list of personalities allegedly involved in the plot to remove the President that was posted by the presidential son and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte on his Facebook page.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has dismissed the list as “fake news.”
In an interview, Carpio agreed.
“I consider that as a joke. It’s laughable,” he said.
Carpio, who has been a vocal critic of the Duterte administration over its handling of the territorial dispute with China in the South China Sea, also considered the list “incredible” since it included even vocal supporters of the President.
“The cast of characters include Victor Corpus, who is very pro-Duterte, and also Carmen Pedrosa, who is rabidly pro-Duterte, so I cannot imagine how these people can be destabilizers,” the senior magistrate said.
He said he had no idea where such an insinuation came from and that he “totally ignored it” upon learning about his inclusion in the list.
When asked why he thinks he was included in the list, the magistrate replied: “Well since I’m always in the news it did not surprise me anymore.”
Leonen said he merely treated his inclusion in the list as a joke.
“I am vegan. I do not collude nor conspire with Jollibee,” Leonen said in a post on his Twitter account immediately upon learning about the list last week.
The “Oust Duterte Movement” list linked politicians, bishops, former Cabinet members, journalists, civil society leaders and companies in the supposed ouster plot.
Among those included in the list with Carpio and Leonen were Vice President Leni Robredo, former Vice President Jejomar Binay, former chief justice Hilario Davide, opposition Senators Leila de Lima and Risa Hontiveros, former Cabinet members Corazon Soliman, Florencio Abad, Paquito Ochoa, Cesar Purisima, and former police chief Alan Purisima.
Also in the list were Catholic bishops Broderick Pabillo, Leo Drona, Antonio Tobias, Deogracias Iñiguez, Pablo David and journalists Maria Ressa, Ellen Tordesillas and Ed Lingao.
Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, who died two years ago, was also on the list of alleged anti-Duterte plotters.
The list also included Jollibee Foods Corp. as a supposed destabilizer, prompting several memes online.
The presidential son said he posted the list—which was quickly deleted—“for fun.”
READ: ‘Red December‘ plot emerges as new threat on Du30—military