This was stressed by Vice President Leni Robredo who heads the opposition Liberal Party (LP), Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of the Magdalo party-list group and chairman Jose Ma. Sison of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
Joven Cagande
Leni: 'Another EDSA won’t be good for Philippines'
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - September 21, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — They have not joined forces and there is no conspiracy to oust President Duterte through mass actions that are supposed to start today, the 46th anniversary of Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law, and culminate in October.

This was stressed by Vice President Leni Robredo who heads the opposition Liberal Party (LP), Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of the Magdalo party-list group and chairman Jose Ma. Sison of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

Thousands of police officers have been deployed for today’s rallies in Manila to commemorate the declaration of Martial Law, with pro-administration groups holding their own rallies to express support for President Duterte.

Former President Benigno Aquino III and Robredo are scheduled to attend a mass at De La Salle University in Manila to commemorate the declaration of martial law.

The government said it was prepared for the rallies and any possible destabilization attempts. Duterte had said the LP, Magdalo and CPP were conspiring to boot him out by next month. 

Facing “The Chiefs” last night on Cignal TV’s One News channel, Robredo said, “Filipinos are not keen on supporting another uprising. It will not be good for the country if we will go through another political upheaval the likes of EDSA. I feel we have gone through so much already.” 

She denied that the LP was involved in any ouster plot, adding that if there is any such movement afoot, she would not be part of it.

LP vice president for external affairs Erin Tañada had issued a similar denial to The Chiefs, stressing that the party is busy preparing for the 2019 elections. 

Sison and Trillanes also categorically denied conspiring to oust Duterte, although the exiled communist leader stressed that their rebellion has always aimed to replace the Philippine government and its leader. 

Trillanes told The Chiefs that it would be impossible for him and the Magdalo, which represents soldiers, to “lie in bed with the enemy” since communist rebels continue to kill government forces. The two groups, he said, are “like oil and water.”

Sison, speaking to The Chiefs by Skype from the Netherlands, said he had also consulted rebel forces in the Philippines and was sure that no such talks for a conspiracy had transpired. He said Duterte was “lying” for claiming that there is a taped conversation to prove the conspiracy.

Palace to destabilization groups: 'Dream on'

Malacañang expressed confidence yesterday that state forces will be able to thwart any destabilization effort against the administration of President Duterte while various groups take to the streets today to dramatize their protest against the government.

“It’s not anything that the state cannot deal with; dream on to those who want to remove the President,” said presidential spokesman Harry Roque Jr. when asked to assess the threat against the administration.

Roque gave the assessment after the President met with top intelligence officials in Malacañang last Wednesday barely 48 hours before the planned demonstrations that would coincide with the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law during the Marcos regime.

“It’s a regular intel briefing which unfortunately remains classified,” he said, confirming the meeting but invoking confidentiality, apparently due to the sensitive security issues discussed by the President and members of the intelligence community.

Last week, Duterte bared an alleged alliance of the camp of Senator Trillanes, the LP and the CPP to oust him from office.   

The President said the activities today are part of the destabilization efforts, which were denied by all three camps.  

This came after Duterte issued an order that voided the amnesty granted by former president Aquino to Trillanes for the Oakwood mutiny and other activities against then president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. 

Trillanes, who has exposed the alleged hidden wealth of Duterte and his family, is now fighting the order vigorously. 

Roque said the President, however, respects freedom of expression, whether the people are for or against him.

The Palace said the Philippine National Police (PNP) is expected to observe maximum tolerance during the protest rallies, which will converge at the Quirino Grandstand to condemn killings and abuses in the administration’s war against illegal drugs.

Aside from the mass at De La Salle, the commemoration will also feature an exhibit of photos taken by a group of photojournalists who document the killings related to the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

Robredo is also scheduled to attend the premiere of independent film “Liway” at the University of the Philippines Film Institute.

Directed by Kip Oebanda, the film is about the lives of Cecilia ‘Liway’ Flores-Oebanda and her son Dakip during the martial law era.  –  With Janvic Mateo

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