MANILA- Liberal Party (LP) President Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan on Thursday denied anew allegations of destabilization efforts by the opposition.
In a statement, Pangilinan said the ouster claims floated anew by President Rodrigo Duterte's allies were meant to distract the media and the public from issues of corruption and criticism hounding the administration.
"Walang destabilization. Si DND (Department of National Defense) Sec. [Delfin] Lorenzana na mismo ang nagsabi na walang ouster plot," he said in a statement.
"Naghahanap sila ng pantapal para malihis ang atensyon ng media at ng mamamayan sa alingasngas ng corruption, drug smuggling ng Davao group at ang palpak na drug war na araw-araw ang patayan. Pekeng ouster plot," he added.
Pangilinan said the administration seemed headed for a dictatorship given that critics of the administration are threatened and jailed.
"Tinatakot at ikinukulong ang sinuman na kumontra o bumatikos. Patungo na sa diktadura ang gobyerno kung hindi ito tututulan ng mamamayan," he said.
Solicitor General Jose Calida had on Wednesday said “yellows, whites, reds” and even the clergy are conspiring against the President.
Calida warned the groups who are allegedly conducting a "black operation" against Duterte, saying they will not succeed.
“There [are] black operations or black ops right now against President Duterte and they can come in various forms and colors, yellow to white, and now there are also reds coming in, and also members of the clergy are also joining the fray," Calida said.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier revealed that his department is looking into local and foreign bank accounts of "yellow" personalities including those identified with the opposition, but he did not disclose names.
"Yellow" and the term "dilawan" refer to members, allies and supporters of the Liberal Party, which has used the color in its election campaigns since the administration of former President Corazon Aquino.
The LP blasted the investigation, calling the probe a "threat of persecution."
The opposition bloc also earlier decried the administration's threats on democratic institutions, citing moves to impeach Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and Maria Lourdes Sereno, both appointees of former President Benigno Aquino III, an LP stalwart.
They also cited the House of Representatives' earlier move to defund the Commission on Human Rights. The agency's proposed 2018 budget has since been restored.