President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday night he has no plans to sue individuals and groups that he accused of conspiring to oust him.
“They released black propaganda that included my daughter. I’m not interested to file cases,” Duterte said during a campaign rally in Bohol late Wednesday.
Hours earlier, Malacañang released a new set of diagrams that accused the Liberal Party, the Magdalo group, and journalists of working “hand in hand” to discredit the government
and strengthen the opposition’s “Otso Diretso” senatorial slate.
LOOK: The Series of Matrices presented by Malacañang
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Justice Department would determine if there was sufficient evidence to file charges against those included in the newly released diagrams.
In the same campaign speech, Duterte slammed those behind “Ang Totoong Narco-List” videos circulating online that accused members of his family of accepting drug money and said he ordered Panelo to “reveal them all” to the public.
Duterte said he believed the narrator of the videos, who called himself “Bikoy,” sounded like a military man, and said the Magdalo group was behind them.
READ: Bikoy uploader rapped for ‘inciting to sedition’
“I said [to Panelo] reveal them all including who the voice that they used belongs to. Do you know whose voice was that? That was a soldier, a Magdalo. It was a Magdalo production, [Senator Antonio] Trillanes. You’ve heard how he talks,” Duterte said. “It’s a soldier’s lingo. It is sarcastic.”
Duterte would not say where the new diagrams came from, except to say that they were from the foreign intelligence community.
Duterte spent his remaining campaign sorties to criticize the opposition’s eight-person senatorial slate.
“Otso [Diretso] has created another black propaganda... Honestly, do people really believe in Otso Diretso? You will go straight to hell. If you vote for them, it’s up to you,” Duterte said.
“But they aren’t worth anything. Just look at them. Look at how dirty they play. It’s very dirty,” he added.
All the persons and groups named by the Palace have denied the allegations.
Panelo, on the other hand, said it was the President’s constitutional duty to release the information about the plot.
Panelo, the President’s chief legal counsel, said the Duterte administration welcomes the exercise of constructive dissent. “When it, however, crosses the line of acts falling as crimes under the Revised Penal Code, then the dissenters become transgressors of law and the constituted authorities are duty bound to enforce the law and cause their prosecution,” he said.
“The diagram of personalities and groups shows the linkages among them. It appears they are working together to discredit the administration by planting the seeds of hate on the President for him to lose the trust he earned from—as well as the mandate given him—by the people,” he said.
He said the Palace would leave it to the Justice Department to do its job to “prosecute the people who appear to have violated the law.”
At the same time, Panelo dismissed as lies the accusations hurled by Bikoy, calling them “incredible and absurd.”
“Nevertheless, the Justice secretary has urged Bikoy to file a complaint against the personalities he identified in the videos, including those related to the President. If he files a complaint, the investigating prosecutor will have to conduct the required preliminary investigation to determine a finding of probable cause,” he said.
Since Wednesday, the Palace has denied concerns that the release of the unsubstantiated diagrams was a crackdown on legitimate dissent and free expression.
Former government officials, journalists, and even athletes Hidilyn Diaz and Gretchen Ho, denied any involvement in a conspiracy.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said the new diagrams were a list of people who are mad at the President.
He questioned the inclusion of Diaz and Ho, however.
Pressed to say if he believes the matrix and the alleged plot to oust Duterte are credible, Sotto replied: “It’s just a matrix. It should just be taken as it is. It need not be credible or incredible. One’s perception is the factor of consideration.”
Senator JV Ejercito said he did not believe there was any danger of the government being overthrown.
Senator Grace Poe, on the other hand, said it was difficult to believe in the matrix because no evidence has been presented. Any name, she added, could be added to the diagram.
Diaz, an Olympics silver medalist, questioned her inclusion in the list.
In a video post on Facebook, she said she was far too busy preparing for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics to be part of any political plot against the President.
Ho, an ABS-CBN News TV host, said she was surprised that she was included in the diagram, saying she was mainly focused on lifestyle and sports. With PNA
READ: ‘Bikoy’ loses credibility as accuser—DOJ