Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo presents to media on Wednesday, May 8, 2019, a new matrix supposedly showing people and parties involved in a conspiracy to discredit the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte and boost the candidacy of opposition candidates. INQUIRER.NET / NESTOR CORRALES
MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has tagged the Liberal Party, the Magdalo and certain media outfits included in a matrix to be behind a plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
"The President has received intelligence information that has been validated and appears to show that there is deliberate attempt to discredit this administration, as well as to boost the candidacies of the opposition, senatorial candidates," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
"And it appears that there are certain groups who are working together to achieve this goal. This group appears to be the Liberal Party. Some personalities identified as advocates or very active in social media, dishing out anti-Duterte statements and sentiments and validated to be allied with the Liberal Party," Panelo added.
He said the media groups named in the matrix presented by Malacañang on April 22 were also included.
"The other group, by the way, is Magdalo. It appears from this diagram that the Liberal Party, the Magdalo and other groups indicated in the matrix are working hand in hand," he said.
Panelo did not disclose the source of the intelligence report but he assured the public that the President has validated "every information" in the matrices.
"He has many sources. Knowing him, as one who is effective President, he would have validated every information he has received," he said.
"It was shared to him, he validated it, and he wants the public to know about it," he added.
Mar Roxas, LP, media, named
Former Interior secretary and opposition senatorial candidate Manuel "Mar" Roxas II, Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, opposition senatorial aspirant Florin Hilbay, former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, and reelectionist Bam Aquino were named in the matrices.
Rodel Jayme, the owner and web developer of the metrobalita.net was also tagged in the ouster plot against Duterte.
Journalist Ellen Tordesillas of Vera Files and National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP) member Inday-Espina-Varona was also included in the matrices.
Exiled communist leader Jose Maria Sison was also named as behind the destabilization plots against Duterte.
Media organizations named in the matrices are Vera Files, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), National Union of Journalism of the Philippines (NUJP) and Rappler.
The National Union of Peoples' Lawyers (NUPL), the group of pro-bono lawyers, was also included in the matrices.
TV host Gretchen Ho and Filipino Olympian Hidilyn Diaz were also included in the matrices, for their "constant online collaboration" with individuals allegedly behind Duterte's ouster.
"Well, hopefully by revealing it to the public we are preempting their move. But we want to know—we want to let the public know: that their intention is not only to discredit this administration leading to its ouster and to boost the candidacies of the senatorial candidates," Panelo said.
DOJ to file charges
Panelo said Malacañang would let the Department of Justice (DOJ) file the appropriate charges against the individuals in the matrices.
"We will let the Department of Justice, since that is his turf, Secretary Menardo [Guevarra], to do the job," he said.
"Secretary Guevarra would study what are the appropriate charges against them," he added.
The Palace official said the release of the matrices was not propaganda.
"No, it's not propaganda. It's propaganda of these people mentioned or shown in the diagram against this administration and to boost the candidacies of the Otso Diretso," he said.
"Definitely, we are revealing the black propaganda against the administration," he added.
Despite the inclusion of personalities "active in social media dishing out anti-Duterte statements and sentiments," Panelo said the government was not suppressing freedom of speech.
"Definitely no. It can never be a crackdown. This government cannot crack down on those who are practicing their freedom of expression and of speech, definitely," he said.
The new alleged ouster plot against President was not the first time under the Duterte administration.
The military earlier disclosed the Red October," a coalition of communist rebels and Duterte's critics to oust the President./cbb/ac
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