MANILA - Despite the latest pronouncement from Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. that the Liberal Party is not part of the alleged “Red October” plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang insisted that some members of the opposition party are conniving with communist leaders.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said there was “no inconsistency” between the statements of the President and the AFP chief despite the latter’s move to clear the opposition party.
“No inconsistency. I’m sure individual members of the Liberal Party, as the President said, may be in collusion with the CPP-NPA,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.
“It could be true there’s no formal memorandum of agreement between the party itself and the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines - New People’s Army), but it does prevent leading personalities within the LP from having such collusion.”
During a hearing before the Senate committee on finance, Galvez also cleared LP President Senator Francis Pangilinan and opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV of any involvement in the supposed plot.
But Roque said Trillanes’ statements against the President were enough to say that the senator was plotting the President’s ouster.
“He has repeatedly called for the ouster of the president, so there’s no inconsistency. He has actually verbalized time and again that he (Duterte) should step down, he should be removed, he should go to jail,” Roque said.
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.
Parlade claimed that opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas almost got involved in the plan but backed out after realizing that communists were behind the move.
The President had earlier alleged that the LP and Trillanes’ Magdalo Group forged an alliance with the communists to destabilize the government, something that the three groups have denied. He even claimed that some soldiers were also seeking an alliance with his political enemies.