Palace welcomes ‘constructive dissent’

Published May 9, 2019, 3:34 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Genalyn Kabiling

The government welcomes “constructive dissent” but will enforce the law and prosecute those who cross the line, Malacañang said following the release of a broader matrix on the alleged conspiracy to discredit President Duterte.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo assured that due process will be given and said the Department of Justice will look into possible charges against those involved in the anti-Duterte plot.

“In a democracy, constructive dissent makes it vibrant and this Administration welcomes its exercise,” Panelo said.

“When it, however, crosses the line of acts falling as crimes under the Revised Penal Code, then the dissenters become transgressors of law and the constituted authorities are duty bound to enforce the law and cause their prosecution,” he added.

Panelo said they would leave to the justice department “the task of prosecuting the people who appear to have violated the law.” He assured that the parties involved will be “given their day in court.”

“Due process is given, its observance is unequivocal as it is mandatory, as demanded by the Constitution and as meticulously and strictly observed by this Administration. It is in the legal arena that the rules on evidence will hold sway,” he said.

Malacañang recently accused the Liberal Party and other critics of hatching a conspiracy to discredit Duterte and boost the chances of opposition senatorial candidates in Monday’s elections.

On the orders of the President, Panelo released new diagrams identifying more personalities including the Magdalo group, some media organizations who were supposedly connected with the anti-Duterte conspiracy.

He did not reveal the source of the President’s intelligence report but insisted that Duterte had validated the information in the matrix.

The LP and other concerned personalities linked to the anti-Duterte plot have denied any part in it.

Panelo said they expected the “poker-faced denials” but argued that the opposition groups appeared to be sowing the seeds of hate so the President would lose public trust.

“Some personalities linked with the Oust Duterte Matrix issued poker-faced denials, which naturally are expected of them. Yet one begins to wonder why they were all praises for the Bikoy videos, with some even anticipating the online release of the same as if they already knew of their existence,” he said.

He said the diagram of personalities and groups shows the linkages among them.