In an interview over the weekend, Gen. Carlito Galvez—Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff—Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade—deputy chief of staff for operations—linked the political opposition to an alleged armed conspiracy to overthrow the chief executive.
Office of the Vice President/released
Robredo: Ouster plot claim 'baseless,' 'dangerous'
Kristine Joy Patag (Philstar.com) - September 25, 2018 - 10:31am

MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has flagged the military's claim that members of the political opposition are part of an ouster plot as alarming and dangerous.

The alleged armed ouster plot conspiracy “would be laughable if they were not so dangerous,” said Robredo, also the chairperson of the Liberal Party, which is now the de facto mainstream opposition party.

“The attempt to delegitimize various opposition groups and personalities linking them to an alleged extra-constitutional ‘plot’ is alarming,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

Gen. Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, and Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, deputy chief of staff for operations, earlier linked the political opposition to an alleged armed conspiracy to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte.

Ouster plot claim dangerous to democracy

But Robredo stressed that the military's claim is not only baseless, it also poses a threat to the country's democracy.

“Baseless allegations that link my involvement in legitimate opposition activities with illegal actions, particularly when they come from high ranking military officials, undermine not just the opposition but also our democracy,” the vice president added.

The vice president reminded the men and women of the AFP that they share the same mandate of upholding the constitution

“They politicize the AFP, subvert the Constitutional protections and weaken a crucial mechanism for ensuring public accountability,” she said.

Robredo also pointed out that a similar tactic of branding critics as criminals was employed during martial law “to strip the opposition of its voice.”

“[T]his silencing of the opposition was a prelude to establishing a regime of corruption, abuse and dictatorship,” the vice president added.

Parlade: 'Broad coalition' working to overthrow government

Parlade, in an interview with ANC over the weekend, claimed that a “broad coalition” being orchestrated by the Communist Party with [National Democratic Front of the Philippines peace panel consultant Rey] Casambre, Satur Ocampo are working together to overthrow the government.

This was in support of an earlier claim that President Rodrigo Duterte made in a staged conversation with his lawyer Salvador Panelo on September 11. He said then that a sympathetic foreign government had recorded conversations of a conspiracy involving Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, members of the Liberal Party and communist rebels.

RELATED: Sison dares Duterte to release 'conspiracy' conversations

The supposed “coalition” includes Coalition for Justice—a group who backed ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno during the government's campaign to remove her from office—and Tindig Pilipinas. 

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV already clarified that Tindig Pilipinas do not have communists and uniformed personnel among its members. Coalition for Justice has also refuted the military's claim.

'Red-baiting'

Movement Against Tyranny, a separate opposition coalition, also slammed the military’s claim. The group said, is a “clear sign of the Duterte regime’s full engagement in facilitating the return of dictatorship and cementing the comeback of the Marcos family.”

“The stepped-up red-baiting by the Armed Forces of the Philippines is a clear sign of the Duterte regime’s full engagement in facilitating the return of dictatorship and cementing the comeback of the Marcos family,” MAT also said.

Red-baiting, as defined by the International Peace Observers Network, is the practice of publicly and detractively classifying government-critical individuals and organizations as communist terrorists, state enemies or subversives.

READ: Duterte’s red-tagging endangers activists – militant groups

Among the convenors of the MAT are former Sen. Rene Saguisag, former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada, Free Legal Assistance Group Chairman Jose Manuel Diokno, activist nun Sr. Mary John Mananzan, University of the Philippines Diliman Chancellor Michael Tan and veteran journalist Vergel Santos.

Parlade also warned of a plot called “Red October”—another alleged conspiracy to oust Duterte.

RELATED:‘Yellow conspiracy’ out to oust me – Rody

“They’ll continue their plans until next month. They also have this October or Red October. That’s the celebration of international communism and also the indigenous people,” he said.

October is the National Indigenous Peoples' Month by virtue of a 2009 proclamation by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

In October last year, the government also floated the idea of a supposed conspiracy between the Liberal Party, the Communist Party of the Philippines and members of the clergy to oust Duterte.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES LENI ROBREDO LIBERAL PARTY
As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: October 5, 2018 - 8:40am

Vice President Leni Robredo says a supposed 'Red October' plot by an alleged communist-led conspiracy with opposition groups are "laughable if they were not dangerous."

She says the "attempt to delegitimize various opposition groups and personalities to an alleged extra-constitutional 'plot' are alarming," she says in a statement.

"Baseless allegations that link my involvement in legitimate opposition activities with illegal actions, particularly when they come from high ranking military officials, undermine not just the opposition but also our democracy," she says.

The military had earlier claimed that communist rebels are planning to destabilize the Duterte administration next month as part of international celebrations for communism and Marxism. 

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, Armed Forces deputy chief for operations, claimed that the "Red October" plot remains even if a plan to oust Duterte by September 21 failed to materialize.

October 5, 2018 - 8:40am

Filmmakers and members of the film community are expected to hold a press conference on Friday afternoon in relation to a statement signed and circulated on Facebook on Thursday denouncing "red-tagging" by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, which has been saying that viewings of films about martial law under Marcos are being used to recruit students to join the supposed "Red October" plot.

The press conference will be at Cinema Adarna in UP Diliman.

Universities that the AFP said are being used as recruitment venues for activism and for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army have already denied the allegations and have denounced the military for the claim, which the AFP has admitted includes unverified information.

October 4, 2018 - 4:00pm

More than 300 filmmakers, media workers, cultural workers and members of the film and artistic community have so far put their names on a statement to protest the Armed Forces of the Philippines "essentially [accusing] us and the organizations that sponsor film screenings on martial law of recruiting for the New People’s Army."

The AFP, through Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr, claims communist rebels have been recruiting students in at least 18 universities by showing them films on martial law during the Marcos administration to supposedly influence them into rebelling against the government.

"This is red-baiting and slander of the worst kind. It impinges on our right to freedom of expression, speech and assembly, and endangers us and our audience, especially in the context of the Duterte regime’s murderous anti-war and counter-insurgency campaigns and the president’s recent pronouncement that 'rebels' are now targets for 'neutralization' or can be arrested without warrant, despite constitutional guarantees against it," the manifesto, which has been spreading on Facebook, reads.

"Our film screenings provide an invaluable service to the youth, the students and the general audience, especially since our education system has largely failed in informing them about the systemic atrocities that happened during the martial law era," they say.

"The screenings hope to provide them with knowledge and insight into that dark chapter in our history, especially since many of the actual perpetrators and beneficiaries of that fascist dictatorship have fully rehabilitated themselves back into mainstream politics and into positions of power," they also say.

October 4, 2018 - 1:26pm

Emilio Aguinaldo College in Manila "vehemently denies" that it is being used for recruitment of students to the Communist Party of the Philippines as the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed on Wednesday.

It says neither the school nor its students have any "record of participation in any partisan political activity," adding the school is more engaged in outreach and community programs.

"Absent any proof or actual basis, the statement by the AFP should be rectified immediately," lawyer Joseph Noel Estrada, EAC legal counsel, says in a press statement.

"[T]he college adheres to peaceful and non-violent means of expressing grievances and, more importantly, to democracy," he says, adding the school will not allow itself to be used for subversive activities.

EAC, which has campuses in Manila and in Cavite, follows similar statements from De La Salle University, the University of Santo Tomas and the University of Makati denying allegations made by the AFP that their campuses are being used as recruitment areas for the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People's Army.

The AFP claims films about abuses during martial law during the Marcos administration are being used to influence students to rebel against the government as part of a supposed "Red October" plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from office.

The CPP has repeatedly disavowed the supposed plot, which initially allegedly also involved the pro-military Magdalo group and the Liberal Party.

The AFP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government have both said Magdalo and LP are not involved.

October 3, 2018 - 9:13am

The government should charge supposed and unnamed Liberal Party members it says are part of a supposedly communist-led conspiracy to overthrow the government, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon of the LP says.

In a press statement, Drilon points out Gen. Carlito Galvez, Armed Forces of the Philippines chief of staff, has already said neither the LP no Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV are involved in the supposed "Red October" plot.

"I challenge Malacañang, particularly presidential spokesman Harry Roque to file charges against LP members who are allegedly in cahoots with the communists to overthrow the government," Drilon says.

In response to Galvez' statement, Roque said: "It could be true that there is no formal memorandum of agreement between the party itself and the CPP-NPA. It does not prevent leading personalities with the Liberal Party from having such collusion."

Roque also insisted that Trillanes is involved because the senator "has repeatedly called for the ouster of the president... [H]e has actually verbalized time and again he should step down. He should removed from office, he should be sent to jail."

Drilon says Wednesday: "Let me borrow Secretary Roque’s own words. We should not take Roque seriously."

October 3, 2018 - 8:23am

Samahan ng Progresibong Kabataan (SPARK) rejects the Armed Forces of the Philippines' assertion that a so-called "Red October" plot is in place and is meant to create a reason for President Rodrigo Duterte to declare martial law and a revolutionary government.

"May we strongly point out that, the youth and labor movement do not yearn for martial law. It was precisely the reason why we went to Luneta on the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law. Everyone who attended clearly had one message in mind for the Duterte administration: 'Never Again'," SPARK, which is not affiliated with the national democratic activist movement, says in a statement.

"The student and labor movements have been active in the parliament of the streets the past two years because they are the very sectors of society that have been gravely affected by the autocratic and erratic economic policies of the Duterte administration," the group says.

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