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‘Alright, sir:’ No plot to oust Duterte, Trillanes assures

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By Xave Gregorio

There is no plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from office, contrary to assertions made by the chief executive himself.

This was what opposition Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said in a media briefing Monday (September 10), assuring Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff Carlito Galvez, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and other security officials that he is not hatching an ouster plot against Duterte.

“Alright, sir. Wala akong nire-recruit, walang ouster. Alright. Now I don’t expect them to take my word for it, they can validate it all they want, but babalik at babalik sila doon,” Trillanes said.

In a press briefing upon his arrival from a trip to Israel and Jordan on Saturday (September 8), Duterte urged the military to keep tabs on the Liberal Party, Communists and Trillanes, who are supposedly eyeing to oust him by October.

This accusation has been denied by Liberal Party President Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan in a statement Sunday (September 9), who said “the government is doing a good job of destabilizing itself.”

“The accusation of detablization is downright false. It is ridiculous. Dissent is not destabilization,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan called on Thursday night (September 6) for a massive show of support for Trillanes outside the Senate as the latter’s arrest was supposedly bound to happen over the weekend.

The crowd by the upper chamber’s gate swells up to around 100 in the evening, hearing Mass and conducting solidarity programs throughout the day.

Trillanes said the gathering of his supporters should not leave Duterte paranoid.

“‘Wag na siyang ma-paranoid diyan. Mas problemahin niya ‘yung mga problema ng bansa ngayon. Tutukan niya ‘yun dahil kung may source ang galit ng atin ng mga kababayan ay ‘yung pagtaas ng bilihin,” Trillanes said.

However, the senator, who has holed up in his office for almost a week following Duterte’s voiding of his amnesty out of fear of being arrested, cannot guarantee that protests against the President would grow larger.

“Kasi ‘yung mga ganyang bagay-bagay hindi ko na kontrolado ‘yun … Sa ating kasaysayan, may mga insidente tayong nag-lead sa mga, kumbaga eh, napuno na ‘yung mga Pilipino,” Trillanes said.

“Nasa kamay po nila ‘yan,” he added.

A massive protest on the anniversary of the the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos’ declaration of martial law dubbed “United People’s Action” would be held on September 21 at Luneta Park.