Duterte is source of
President Rodrigo Duterte was the source of a supposed matrix of organizations and individuals, including journalists, out to discredit him and destabilize his administration, Malacanang said on Monday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed the matrix after Dante Ang, chairman emeritus of The Manila Times, wrote an article "Oust-Duterte Plot Bared" in his newspaper.
Panelo, however, said he did not know how Ang was able to get the information about the supposed matrix, showing an apparent media campaign to discredit Duterte.
Ang, quoting source, said there was an obvious pattern of close coordination among some media organizations for the timely publication of anti-Duterte stories.
The organizations and journalists included in the supposed matrix linking to "Bikoy" were Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa, Vera Files and its president Ellen Tordesillas, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, and National Union of People's Lawyer, among others.
A certain Bikoy came out with a series of video accusing Duterte, some members of his family, and those close to him of their alleged involvement in illegal drugs. They denied Bikoy's allegations.
"The source of that is from the Office of the President, from the President himself. I don’t know how he (Ang) got one. But it’s coming from the President," Panelo said.
He said Duterte has many sources and he got the matrix from one of his sources.
Panelo said it was not surprising there was a plot to oust the President.
"If you notice this has been going on, the pattern is clear - false news and then transferred to another and it circulates. So, I am not surprised at all," he said.
Despite the alleged destabilization plot against Duterte, Panelo, also the chief presidential legal counsel, said the Palace would not act against those individuals allegedly behind the plot.
"We just want them to know that we know and we want the people to know that they are on this," he said.
But if the "plot thickens and they perform acts which are already violation of the penal laws, that’s a different story," he added.
The official said there was no need to conduct a loyalty check among the members of the military and police because they are all behind Duterte. Celerina Monte/DMS