MANILA – The Liberal Party, Magdalo group and some media outlets have allegedly conspired to oust President Rodrigo Duterte and boost the skidding candidacy of “Otso Diretso” senatorial candidates, the Malacañang said on Wednesday.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said Duterte received intelligence information showing that there is a deliberate conspiracy between certain groups to discredit the administration.
“It appears that there are certain groups who are working together to achieve this goal. This group appears to be the Liberal Party,” Panelo said in a media briefing at Malacañang.
“Some personalities identified as advocates or very active in social media, dishing out anti-Duterte statements and sentiments and validated to be allied with the Liberal Party,” he added.
Among those who were identified by Panelo behind the conspiracy were Otso Diretso senatorial candidates Benigno “Bam” Aquino III, Mar Roxas and Rodolfo Alejano and outgoing senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
Also named in the new matrix were former Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, Communist Party of the Philippines founder chairman Jose Maria Sison, Rodel Jayme, blogger Eduardo “Cocoy” Dayao, Arman Pontejos and Bong Banal, who was allegedly the voice behind the “Bikoy” videos.
Panelo added that the media outfits involved in the conspiracy were Vera Files, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Rappler and the National Union of People’s Lawyers, which were also identified in matrix last month.
Panelo said there was a very active online collaboration between Vera Files president Ellen Tordesillas, Lacierda, Dayao, Sison, Trillanes, Jayme, Banal, Pontejos, and other LP groups and supporters.
Jayme, who created the Metro Balita website where Bikoy videos were uploaded, also have collaboration with other LP supporters Inday Espina-Varona, Gara Trillanes, Alejano and Florin Hilbay.
The other groups named in the matrix were Netizen against Dictatorship, Federalism and Communism, Kinabukasan Mo, Ipaglaban Mo, Gising na Pinoy, Task Force of Democracy Human Rights, Democratic Warriors, Democratic Warriors International, No Way, Never Binay, Senator Trillanes Power, Sen. Antonio Trillanes Supporters Group, Trillanes FB Group, Silent Majority, and Tindig Pilipinas.
Panelo said that it is now up to the Department of Justice to decide whether to press criminal charges against the people and groups mentioned in the matrix.
LP President Sen. Francis Pangilinan, meanwhile, dismissed the new allegation against them saying that it was just the administration’s diversionary tactic to the allegations against Duterte, his family and friends over illegal drug trade.
“This is the nth time that the administration, when confronted with controversy, falsely accuses the LP of being involved in ouster plots,” Pangilinan said. “Gawa-gawa lang ‘yan at nililihis ang usapin sa mga akusasyon laban sa administrasyon at mga kaalyado nito.”
Alejano, for his part, has challenged the Malacañang to instead press charges against them instead of revealing their names in the public.
“Kung talagang involved kami, paparusahan kami, kasuhan kami. In fact right now, they can file cases against us so we can defend ourselves,” Alejano said. “All of that are propaganda. Like the narco-list, hindi dumadaan sa proseso and they are releasing that to the public, destroying reputations of people without being responsible of the consequences of their actions.”/PN