THE PHILIPPINE MILITARY said communist rebels were plotting to remove President Rodrigo Duterte from office and also behind plans to destabilize the government by launching massive street protests and rallies denouncing human rights violations and extrajudicial killings across the country and spark a national outrage.
It said leftist organizations and labor groups, including pro-communist students would spearhead the rallies in an effort to lure Duterte into declaring a nationwide martial law or a revolutionary government which the military claimed would be a “political trap” for the President.
Armed Forces’ Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez Jr. claimed the communist rebels are behind the so-called “Red October” ouster plot. “The way we see it, the President is being dragged to declare a nationwide martial law, and also most probably a revolutionary government. That is the plan of the CPP-NPA (New People’s Army), to lead the president to a political death trap,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Armed Forces’ Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, also said that rebels have been recruiting in schools and universities in Manila and identified them as University of the Philippines in Diliman and Manila, Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Santa Mesa, Ateneo de Manila, La Salle, University of Santo Tomas, Adamson University, Far Eastern University, University of the East in Recto and Callocan, Emilio Aguinaldo College, Earist-Eulogio Amang Rodriguez, San Beda, Lyceum, University of Makati, Caloocan City College, University of Manila and Philippine Normal University.
But school officials strongly denied the allegations. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said any attempt to oust Duterte would fail. “We stand by the statement of the Armed Forces of the Philippines that the Communist Party of the Philippines is pushing the President to place the country under martial law,” he said. “We will therefore not fall into this trap hatched by the enemies of the State. President Duterte sees no ground to declare martial law nationwide as the whole situation is under control.”
Duterte has declared martial law in Mindanao on May 23 last year after pro-ISIS militants occupied Marawi City in Lanao del Sur province and sparked a deadly battle that lasted 5 months.
Roque also assured the public that martial law Mindanao is free from human rights violations, unlike the military rule during the Marcos regime. (Mindanao Examiner. With a report from Azer Parrocha.)
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