No credible ouster plot vs Duterte? Panelo agrees with defense chief

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2019 02:48 PM

MANILA - Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Wednesday agreed with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s view that there is no credible plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, but he clarified that this does not mean the plot is false. 

Lorenzana on Tuesday cast doubt on the credibility of the ouster plot released by the Palace, which allegedly involved journalists and lawyers. He said a destabilization plan needs the support of the military to push through.

“As for the information from the Palace, maybe they have some information on small groups. But as to a destabilization plot? You would need the military support for such to be credible. As such, we do not see any plot to overthrow the President,” Lorenzana had said in an interview with GMA News.

Sought for comment, Panelo, who released to the media a matrix on the supposed ouster plot earlier this month, said Lorenzana simply meant that the plot could not be fully realized without military support.

"There is no inconsistency on what the DND (Department of National Defense) Secretary said. He said for a plot to oust the President plotter has to get support of military and police. Since there is no showing in the military intelligence that there there is evidence of recruitment then it is not a credible plot," Panelo told ABS-CBN News.

"What he means is the plot is not capable of being successful, but that is not to say that there is no plot to oust him. The President said there was a plot by the personalities and groups identified in the matrix, he did not say that there is support from the military and the police. His exposing it to the public has pre-empted the realization of the plot," he said.

Panelo earlier revealed a supposed conspiracy against Duterte between the opposition Liberal Party and the Magdalo group, a band of former soldiers behind attempts to overthrow House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo during her time as president. 

He said the information came from the President and claimed that the conspiracy also involved media practitioners.

“The President has received intelligence information that shows there is a deliberate conspiracy between certain groups to discredit his admin for purposes of this election and the groups,” he said.