By Hannah Torregoza
Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Wednesday dared Malacañang to file charges against Liberal Party members whom they insisted are colluding with the communists to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Drilon issued the challenge following Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque’s insistence that the so-called ‘Red October’ plot is true.
“I challenge Malacanang, particularly presidential spokesman Harry Roque, to file charges against LP members who are allegedly in cahoots with the communists to overthrow the government,” Drilon said.
“In fact, I believe it is the responsibility of Malacañang to file the charges now because its credibility is at stake for issuing baseless allegations that are later denied by the military,” the minority leader stressed.
Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Carlito Galvez, during the budget hearing in the Senate on Tuesday, categorically refuted the information saying the LP was not involved in any ouster plot.
Duterte had earlier warned of the ouster plot against him saying the details of the supposed movement was provided by a foreign government sympathetic to them but did not name it.
“Gen. Galvez’s statement in an open hearing that the LP was not involved in any attempt to oust the President should put the issue to rest,” Drilon said.
“But Roque’s insistence shows that he is merely making up stories to harass the critics of the president and the political opposition,” the senator said.
“Let me borrow Sec. Roque’s own words. We should not take Roque seriously,” he said.
Drilon said that instead of engaging in political bickering, the Duterte administration should address the alarming increases in oil prices burdening ordinary Filipinos.
“I am alarmed over the continued increases in oil prices for the eight consecutive weeks and the perception, whether true or not, that the government appears helpless in addressing the problem,” Drilon noted.
He warned that another round of oil price increases will certainly add to the already heavy financial burden being shouldered by the people, particularly the poor, given the recent increases in the prices of basic commodities and services.
Under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) of the administration, the second increase in oil prices is scheduled in January 2019.