MANILA

Lawmakers slam AFP's December ouster plot claim

OPPOSITION lawmakers slammed Tuesday, October 16, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) for its claim that the so-called "Red October" ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte was moved to December.

AFP spokesman Brigadier General Edgard Arevalo said Monday, October 15, that the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) is planning to oust Duterte in time for its golden anniversary on December 26.

"We deplore the AFP for persisting in spreading disinformation to the public about the thoroughly discredited conspiracy to oust the President, formerly branded as Red October, now preposterously postponed to December," said ACT Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio in a statement.

Tinio said it has become clear that the AFP's disinformation campaign is aimed to justify the red-tagging, vilification, harassment, arrest on trumped up charges, or extrajudicial killing of those critical to the Duterte administration.

Tinio called on the administration to end the targeting and harassment of activists.

Gabriela Women's Partylist, for its part, said that the December ouster plot, which is a repackaged Red October plot, is just a move to divert the people's attention.

"Moving a fictional Red October plot to December after it has been bared to be a work of feeble minds is a desperate move to divert people’s attention from the Duterte government’s ineptitude in controlling inflation and prices of basic commodities and the plummeting value of the peso," said Gabriela Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Arlene Brosas in a joint statement.

Gabriela also said the ouster plot is aimed to set the stage for worse human rights violations against critics.

"It is also being used as black propaganda against progressives this coming 2019 elections," the statement added.

Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin also hit the military for focusing on the ouster plot instead of defending the country's rights over the West Philippine Sea.

"I think the military is again seeing ghosts of an ouster plot coinciding with the All Soul's Day celebration. It is good to remind them that instead of seeing ghosts, it should look into how we can defend our sovereignty in the West Philippine Sea. Chinese incursions are real not imagined and the AFP must assert defense of our territory in a peaceful yet firm manner," he said.

"It should thus stop concocting ouster plots like some ‘communist rolling plan’ whose dates keep moving from Red October to Golden December supposedly in time for the CPP’s 50th year anniversary," Villarin added.

"Filipinos are getting tired of these alleged plots that are mere hallucinations than based on actionable intelligence. Get real soldiers!" he said.

Marikina Representative Miro Quimbo hit the military's intelligence for its confusing claims.

"The ever evolving storyline of the military about this supposed ouster plot has become so confusing that even they cannot figure out which is the head or the tail," he said.

Quimbo said the "comical fairytales" have become a black eye for the military intelligence community.

"Ganyan ang produkto ng bilyon-bilyong intelligence fund na binibigay sa AFP?!" Quimbo said. (SunStar Philippines)


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