MANILA - "Legitimate opposition" groups like Magdalo and Tindig Pilipinas backed out of an alleged coalition conspiring to remove President Rodrigo Duterte from office, the military said Tuesday.
Military officials claimed over the weekend that a coalition spearheaded by communist rebels is ironing a "Red October" plot to oust Duterte next month. Part of the plot involved engaging in an "aklasan" in which workers' unions are urged to go on strike, they added.
The opposition's withdrawal of support for the "Oplan Talsik" ouster plot against Duterte can be seen in their "symbolic" absence from a planned Sept. 21 rally that marked the anniversary of martial law declaration under former President Ferdinand Marcos, said military spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo.
Opposition groups also approached military officials to clarify that they will not back schemes to set up a communist system in the country, he added.
"Maging ang grupong Magdalo na kasama po doon sa Tindig Pilipinas, nagpahayag din po ng kanilang, ika nga, pagkilala sa ating institusyon at kasama po sila sa sinasabi nating grupo na nag-withdraw ng kanilang pagsali dito sa gagawin sanang pagra-rally nitong September 21 at ito nga pong Oplan Talsik," he told radio DZMM.
(Even the group Magdalo that is part of Tindig Pilipinas expressed their acknowledgement of our institution and they were among groups that withdrew their participation from the planned rally last September 21 and this Oplan Talsik.)
"Kanila pong binanggit sa ating chief-of-staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., na sila po ay sumusuporta sa demokratikong pamahalaan at kailanman ay hindi sila sasama sa mga grupong ang layon ay patalsikin ang kasalukuyang pamahalaan at palitan ng sistemang komunista," he added.
(They told our chief of staff, Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr., that they support the democratic government and they will never join groups aiming to overthrow the present government and replace it with a communist system.)
INFLATION AS OUSTER ISSUE
The coalition against Duterte, however, retains the support of some youth, women's and labor groups that will allegedly mount strikes against some firms and use the issue of inflation to erode support for the government, said Arevalo.
This information, he said, came from digital files and documents recovered from former communist rebels who surrendered to the government.
The military will help gather evidence that may be used in lodging cases against the coalition. It has also asked Duterte to create a
national task force for ending insurgency, Arevalo said.
The Liberal Party, whose leaders are part of Tindig Pilipinas, earlier denied any hand in alleged ouster plots against Duterte. Magdalo's Senator Trillanes and Rep. Gary Alejano have made the same denial.