Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo shows diagram on the alleged conspiracy against the Duterte administration.
The STAR/Alexis Romero
No credible ouster plot vs Duterte — Lorenzana
Kristine Joy Patag ( - May 29, 2019 - 2:42pm

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said the Defense department has not heard of any major, active scheme to depose President Rodrigo Duterte, contradicting Malacañang's insistence of the credibility of such plot.

In an interview with GMA News Digital show FYI with Richard Lorenzana, Lorenzana explained that the Department of National Defense has intelligence people monitoring if there are ouster plots.

“We have some intelligence people going around. We have good intelligence operations people. We do not have any feelers [of an ouster plot],” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo floated yet another destabilization plot early May. He presented a diagram linking three media organizations, sports personalities Gretchen Ho and Hidilyn Diaz, and “Bikoy” of the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” video series.

President Rodrigo Duterte later vouched for the credibility of the plot centered on “Bikoy,” a hooded figure linking the Dutertes to the illegal narcotics trade, but declined to go into detail.

Panelo insisted it was "totally unnecessary" to substantiate the serious claims he made. "The matrix shows that there is an ouster plot. It is just a plot, a plan, an idea," he earlier stressed.

But Lorenzana said: “We did not have prior knowledge to that or even after that. I did not even see that matrix,” except when Panelo showed it.

“Mukhang... I don't know para bang it was meant to kuryente yung ibang tao... baka kagatin. Pero sa amin, wala kaming nakikitang active ouster plot,” the Defense chief added.

Ouster plot more intricate, need more connections

Lorenzana also explained that a plot to destabilize or topple the government would need backing from military, police and local government.

The Defense chief said that the matrix released by the Palace may be about a “small group” of people.

“As for the information from the Palace, maybe they have some information on small groups. It could be information on a small group that they know," he said in Filipino.

"But as to a destabilization plot? You would need the military and police to have a credible chance [to topple the government]," he stressed.

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