MANILA - Communist attacks on state troops will peak on October 17 amid an alleged scheme to kick President Rodrigo Duterte out of office, the military said Monday.
Military officials earlier accused communist rebels of heading a "broad coalition" of Duterte's critics who are plotting for his ouster and urging labor unions to mount simultaneous strikes. The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denied this.
But the CPP's armed wing, the New People's Army, recently started mounting a string of attacks in police and army detachments in Sorsogon and other southern areas, noted the military's deputy chief-of staff for operations, Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade.
"Objective nila sana yun nga talagang ipakita na meron pa silang ibubuga, pero yung mga nauna nilang ginawa kaya nagkalkula sila, puro palpak," he said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN News.
(Their objective was to show that they are still strong, but they had to recalculate because their initial attacks were botched.)
"Hanggang November 'yun, pero karamihan October. October 17 ang pinakatarget nila na, kumbaga peak," he added.
(The attacks will last until November, but majority will occur in October. Their target is October 17, this will mark the peak of the attacks.)
He urged Duterte's critics to refrain from supporting the plot, which he said "is doomed to fail."
"I-post na lang nila nang maayos yung mga issues nila kung meron... Kung makikipagsabayan sila dyan e, kawawa lang yung ekonomiya natin," he said.
(They should just post their concerns properly. If they will join that, our economy will just suffer.)
State troops, he said, are hunting down those behind the plot.
The military is ready to bare its intelligence reports on the issue in an executive session with lawmakers when its officials attend a budget hearing on Tuesday, Parlade said.
The Liberal Party and Magdalo group, both fierce critics of the President, have denied any hand in the alleged ouster plan.
Senator Antonio Trillanes and several other lawmakers have said that Duterte's claim of a plot to remove him from office was a product of paranoia.
Report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News