The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Wednesday that it was “taking seriously” President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that critics, whom he did not name, were plotting his assassination, which would allegedly be carried out on Sept. 21, the 46th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by then-President Ferdinand Marcos.
Asked whether the President’s claims were based on police intelligence, the PNP chief, Dir. Gen. Oscar Albayalde, said only that it was a “serious accusation.”
“When the commander in chief speaks, we have to take everything seriously,” Albayalde told reporters on the sidelines of the groundbreaking of the new Marikina City Police Station.
“The President has unlimited access to information – not only from the PNP but also from other agencies,” he added,.
In a televised interview on Tuesday with chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo, the President said: “Sabi ng ano na, iyan ang plano nila ngayon. Kung hindi na madala sa pautok-paputok, mag-assassinate.”
The President then flippantly remarked that he would be happy to be killed with bullets rather than die from illness, before challenging the unidentified conspirators to move forward with their plans of “sabotage” even before Sept. 21.
He had also suggested this week that a marriage of strange bedfellows – the Liberal Party, Communist Party of the Philippines and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV – was also scheming to overthrow him.
The President has often said that his life is in danger due to an alleged assassination plot being orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States.
Albayalde has denied having information on this.
But on Wednesday, he said: “We always assume every day that there is a threat to the life of the President because he is the President anyway.” /atm
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