MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines on Tuesday clarified that the Liberal Party is not part of the alleged "Red October" plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
AFP Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. said it was the Communist Party of the Philippines that wants a coalition with opposition groups to oust the President in time for its 50th anniversary in December.
"They want to have a coalition with the opposition," Galvez said in a Senate budget hearing.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, Liberal Party president, pointed out that desiring to merge with other groups is different from having an actual coalition with the opposition, as reported recently.
"There is no desire from Liberal Party to oust President Duterte. We will not support any unconstitutional approach or unconstitutional move," said Pangilinan, adding that the LP will expel members who will support the ouster plot.
Galvez's statement contradicts an earlier claim of Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, AFP deputy chief of staff for operations, that opposition groups are conspiring to remove Duterte from office.
The coalition, he claimed, even includes supporters of ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and the group Tindig Pilipinas, whose members incidentally include Liberal Party leaders.
Meanwhile, Galvez claimed they have documents to prove that the communist rebels are plotting against Duterte through "Oplan Aklasan," where they recruit youth groups and students.
"The intention of the military is to preempt massive recruitment," he said, adding that they are willing to show their documents in an executive session.