House leaders downplay ‘plot’ to oust Duterte


ADMINISTRATION and opposition leaders of the House of Representatives on Wednesday downplayed an apparent plot of government critics, including the “yellow forces” allied with the previous administration, to use the burial of remains of former President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LMNB) in Taguig City (Metro Manila) as launching pad to oust President Rodrigo Duterte from power.

In separate interviews, Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu of Batangas and House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez of Quezon belittled a planned broad protest rally to greet President Duterte on his return tomorrow (Friday) from Lima, Peru to show the people’s supposed indignation over the interment of the remains of the former leader at the LMNB or Heroes Cemetery last Friday.

Abu, in a statement, said the political enemies of the President will fail in their attempt to pull down President Duterte’s trust and approval ratings.

“They will not succeed. Still the President enjoys support from the great majority of the Filipino people. When these noisy people [plotters]filed petitions before the Supreme Court asking [to declare]the burial [illegal], the President said he will follow whatever decision of the SC is, the tribunal being the interpreter of the law,” he pointed out.

“The SC decided that there’s no reason to prohibit the burial. So what is the reason of these critics for trying to oust the President when he only followed what is the rule of law?” Abu said.

Suarez, meanwhile, said protest rallies as an “offshoot” of the burial of Marcos’ remains at the Heroes Cemetery will not prosper into bigger ones that could topple the Duterte administration.

“The President continues to enjoy widespread and overwhelming support from the people and he is doing his very best to address the problems of the country, especially the illegal drug trade,” he added.

“Attempts to oust him [Duterte] is just a figment of their imagination,” Suarez said, referring to the President’s political enemies.

The people, according to the lawmaker, will not support any attempt by any group to remove the President, a move that he said would only create chaos in the country.

Bonifacio Ilagan, convenor of the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang or Carmma, said Marcos’ burial on November 18 at the LNMB was an affront to victims of martial law and activists who fought against strongman rule.

Earlier, Deputy Speaker and Capiz Rep. Fredenil Castro said President Duterte’s men and the Marcos family did not violate any law when the remains of the former president were interred at the Heroes Cemetery.

Castro explained that there is no more order from the High Court that bars the government’s issuance of the “green light” for the Marcoses to bury the family patriarch at the LNMB because an status quo ante order had been lifted.

He said the SC will not reverse its ruling–nine against five and one abstention–that paved the way for the burial at the Heroes Cemetery.


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