Of course the President’s people must deny that ex-Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg is plotting to undermine President Rodrigo Duterte until he resigns or gets ousted.
And of course they must also say that attempts to oust the President are sure to fail.
“US ex-envoy plotting Duterte fall-source” was the Manila Times banner story of December 27. It was by our Chairman Emeritus Dr. Dante Ang, who based his exclusive report on the revelations of a reliable source and a copy of the Duterte ouster plan.
We support House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s call for a congressional investigation into the matter. Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. also favors an investigation.
And we urge the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the involvement of locals.
Speaker Alvarez said Congress could invite members of the intelligence community and staff of the US Embassy to a probe he could call in January to dig deeper into the reported plot. “Of course we cannot force them (US Embassy staff) but we will extend the invitation,” the speaker said.
Both the Speaker and Secretary Yasay Jr. said it did not surprise them that the US would be involved in such a plot. Speaker Alvarez had told The Times in Filipino, “I was not surprised by the news. The United States always meddles…when it has no hold over a country’s president.”
Speaker Alvarez said in a statement on Tuesday that the ouster plot if true “has serious consequences not only on our country’s political stability but also on the economic and social fabric of our nation. It would also have grave repercussions on our relationship with the United States.”
“In view of this serious allegation I am calling for a congressional investigation to find out if there is basis to this reported ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte,” he said. “The plan, if carried out, would constitute a violation of Philippine sovereignty and would be tantamount to subversion of the Filipino voters’ will.”
“That is anathema to the gospel of democracy the US government, especially under the administration of President Obama, has been preaching to the world,” the Speaker said.
In a DZRH interview, Secretary Yasay said he had been hearing of “serious threats” against Duterte from overseas. He added that he wouldn’t put such activity past Goldberg, who was expelled by Bolivia in 2008 for allegedly fomenting civil unrest against the government of President Evo Morales. “For Ambassador Goldberg to be accused of such a plot is nothing new,” said Mr. Yasay.
In our exclusive report, we quoted Goldberg as saying, “The opposition would need all the political weapons in their arsenal to replace the Duterte administration and replace it with something more to the opposition’s liking.”
We reported that “Goldberg allegedly urged the US government to employ a combination of socio-economic-political-diplomatic moves against Duterte to bring him to his knees and eventually remove him from office.” Our report recalled that “Duterte and Goldberg had a rift before the latter ended his stint in Manila in October. Duterte had badmouthed Goldberg for the envoy’s criticism of his joke during the election campaign about the 1989 rape of an Australian missionary.”
Secretary Yasay sad the alleged plot is “a serious matter that we have to dig deeper into.” And that is why he readily approved of Speaker Alvarez’s call for a congressional investigation.