MANILA - Liberal Party President and Senator Francis Pangilinan on Thursday called for the dismissal of intelligence officials who gave false intelligence reports about an alleged destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
Several military officials earlier said opposition members are working with communist rebels to mount an ouster plot dubbed as "Red October."
"Bilyon ang ginagastos sa intelligence funds, tapos gawa-gawa lang ang nasasagap na info," Pangilinan said in a statement.
(Billions are spent on intelligence funds but they only end up with make-believe information.)
"Kung sinuman ang nagbibigay ng mga mali-mali at gawa-gawang intelligence report sa Pangulo ay dapat sibakin," he said.
(Whoever invented that wrong intelligence report to the President should be fired.)
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also said soldiers are being recruited to join the move to unseat Duterte.
Pangilinan, along with other Liberal Party members and opposition lawmakers, had consistently denied that they were plotting to unseat Duterte.
Vice President Leni Robredo earlier said reports about the "Red October" are baseless, while opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV labeled the information as "paranoia."
Pangilinan noted that the move to link the political opposition with the communist movement was a a tactic first done by former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to "justify" the declaration of martial law.
"Nung panahon ni Marcos, ‘yan din ang bintang ng diktador sa LP, na may sabwatan sa mga komunista para i-justify ang martial law," he said.
(During the time of Marcos, the dictator also accused LP of conniving with communists to justify martial law.)
The administration should stop making unfounded claims, and instead focus on solving the rising prices of basic goods.
"Sa halip na hanapan ng solusyon sa lumalalang krisis sa presyo ng bigas at sa ekonomiya, naghahanap ng paraan na ilihis ang usapin sa tunay na problema ng bansa," Pangilinan said.
(Instead of finding solutions for the worsening rice and economic crisis, they are looking for ways to veer away from the country's real problems.)
"Ang palpak at tiwaling palakad sa ekonomiya ang dapat ayusin," he said.
(They should just fix the irregular and incorrect economic policies.)