MANILA -- The government should file charges against the Liberal Party and Magdalo if it can substantiate claims that the 2 groups were conspiring to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, the party-list's representative said Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte received intelligence information that the 2 groups and some media outfits were part of "a deliberate conspiracy... to discredit his admin for purposes of this election."
He made the statement after viral videos dubbed "Totoong Narco-list" accused Duterte's son former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, son-in-law Atty. Manases Carpio, and former aide Christopher Go of receiving drug payoffs.
"Kung talagang involved kami, paparusahan kami, kasuhan kami. In fact right now, they can file cases against us so we can defend ourselves," said Magdalo Party-list Gary Alejano.
(If we are really involved, punish us, file cases against us.)
Malacañang, he said, has been releasing matrices tagging alleged destabilization plotters "without really going through validation process."
"All of that are propaganda. Like the narco-list, hindi dumadaan sa proseso (it did not undergo any process) and they are releasing that to the public, destroying reputations of people without being responsible of the consequences of their actions," he told ANC.
Malacañang last month released a diagram linking lawyers and journalists critical of the Duterte administration to an alleged ouster plot. Panelo later admitted the information came from an unknown source.
Magdalo, a band of former mutineers, and its stalwart Sen. Antonio Trillanes are vocal critics of the President's anti-narcotics drive and dealings with China.
"What we have been studying so far are important issues in the country. The fact that we have joined the mainstream, that means we are willing to discuss issues in the public and debate the issues and not do other things outside the Constitution," said Alejano.
He urged the public "to be really discerning" and government agencies to "be objective."
Trillanes, meanwhile, listed the controversies against Duterte as he assailed claims that the Magdalo was discrediting the government.
"Si Duterte ang nagpapatay ng libo-libong Pilipino; may bilyung bilyon pisong tagong yaman; gumigiba sa mga democratic institutions; minumura ang Diyos; at nag iimbento ng mga akusasyon sa mga kritiko nya; tapos kami ang nag didiscredit?" he said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
"May pa matrix matrix ka pa na nalalaman, umayos ka nga Mr. Panelo," he added.
(Duterte had thousands of Filipinos killed, keeps billions of pesos in undeclared wealth, destroyed democratic institutions, cursed God and fabricated accusations against his critics, and we're the ones discrediting the government? Get a grip on yourself, Mr. Panelo.)