“Do not go into such stupid thing as coup d’ etat. You’re wasting your time. Just talk to me, and if I think that you are right, I will agree with you. I will step down. I will go home,” the President told officers and men of the Philippine National Police and officials of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology at Camp Vicente Lim in Calamba, Laguna.
Men in uniform need “not nurture personal loyalty” to him because he doesn’t need it, the President said. “Your loyalty should begin and end with the republic. Do not mind me,” he said.
Interior officer in charge Eduardo Año said there was no need for a loyalty check in the PNP and the Armed Forces.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government, he said, is confident that the military and the police “will not venture in any adventurism and destabilization.”
Lawmakers have expressed contrasting views on the ouster plot, with Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo telling people to believe the President’s claim since “he has access to certain sensitive information.”
“So if the President believes there is a threat, he is working from good information. We should believe (him),” Arroyo said.
In a statement, Liberal Party (LP) president Sen. Francis Pangilinan said “[The President’s sources) … were giving him dubious information that they think he would like to hear.”
Pangilinan added: “During the Marcos regime, the dictator made the same accusations against the LP, that there was collusion with the communists to justify martial law.”
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon denied LP’s involvement in such a plot, dismissing it as a “discredited fantasy tale taken from a Tom Clancy thriller, and being peddled by those who wish to undermine our democracy to justify the declaration of a so-called revolutionary government.”
Senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Escudero expressed doubt that the reported destabilization plot would pose a serious threat to the President.
“That should not worry the President at all because he has the overwhelming support of the vast majority of the country’s armed services,” Lacson said.
Escudero said that while “nothing is impossible,” it was “highly doubtful” that such a plot would pose a threat to the Duterte administration.
Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas said the ouster plot was nothing but a “fictional scenario being stirred … to discredit dissent.”