Top target? PSG confirms Reds' threat to Duterte's life

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 18 2019 05:14 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte. File

MANILA- The Presidential Security Group confirmed Wednesday that it received information on threats on President Rodrigo Duterte's life as the anniversary of the Communist Party of the Philippines drew near.

PSG chief Brig. Gen. Jose Niembra assured the public that measures are in place to ensure Duterte's safety following reports that the chief executive is among "priority targets" of the New People's Army.

"We'll do everything we can to secure the President. And in fact, ang sabi nga natin, ang mission ng (we said the mission of the) PSG is to see to it that we have a living president day by day," Niembra told reporters.

"We expect that the President is number one in their list. So as to the preparations and heightening of our security procedures, amin na lang 'yun (leave it to us). But rest assured, we're doing something to protect the President," he added.

Niembra made the confirmation a week after President Duterte hinted at the possible resumption of peace talks with communist rebels.

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. earlier urged the public to be vigilant in light of possible attacks by the CPP for its 51st anniversary on Dec. 26.

Despite the reported threats to the President's life, Niembra said Duterte still continues to disobey recommendations of the PSG.

"The President knows how to handle himself so alam niya naman kung saan lang 'yung, kumbaga, boundary ng puwede niyang gawin. Minsan medyo sumusobra, minsan naman sumusunod. It's on the matter of advising him, actually, which is critical," Niembra said.

(He knows the limits of what he can and cannot do. Sometimes he goes too far and sometimes he follows instructions.)

Niembra, however, noted that threats to the President's life are nothing new. 

Duterte will leave for his hometown Davao City after the first Presidential Silent Drill Competition on Friday, Niembra said.

Like in previous years, the chief executive will again celebrate Christmas with his loved ones in Davao.