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Yasay: Anyone working for Duterte’s ouster a ‘despicable traitor,’ ‘enemy of state’

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For Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr., anyone working to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte can never be called a patriot even if they claim to be doing so for love of country.

In a Facebook post published Jan. 8, Yasay said: “A person who is part of a sinister plot to forcibly remove a lawfully elected President of the Republic, albeit for noble reasons, is not a patriot, but a despicable traitor and an enemy of the state. In my view, herein lies the distinction between one who is and is not Filipino.”

He repeated his statement on Jan. 11 in a press conference.

Yasay made the statement amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the so-called “LeniLeaks,” which refers to the email exchanges between personalities, including US-based immigration lawyer Ted Laguatan and certain persons in the Philippines on how Duterte could be ousted. The messages were posted on the public Yahoo! group of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council whose members include LP supporter and Filipino-American philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.

The purportedly incriminating emails also include the social media strategy supposedly proposed by Vice President Leni Robredo’s staff following the criticism she drew for proceeding with her US trip while Typhoon Nina battered Bicol during the Christmas season.

Robredo has denied being part of any plans to oust Duterte while the President has merely scoffed at the threat, even saying he wished his detractors success.