2 days before martial law anniversary, Duterte meets with intel agencies
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte met Wednesday, September 19, with representatives from the government's intelligence agencies two days before the Marcos-imposed martial law anniversary, the day that he expected a "sabotage" and "assassination plot" against him.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque described the meeting, held in Malacañang, as a "regular intel briefing" and declined to elaborate on what was discussed.
"It's a regular intel briefing which unfortunately remains classified," he said on Thursday, September 20 during a Palace news briefing.
Duterte earlier said that the Liberal Party, the Left, and his other critics have formed a loose coalition to destabilize his adminisration. The Liberal Party has denied taking part in destabilization efforts.
On September 11, on live television, the President claimed there were "plans" to "assassinate" him on September 21, the 46th anniversary of the declaration martial law by deposed dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Last year, Leftist groups and other sectors held rallies and protests on September 21 to oppose Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs, his apparently warm ties with the Marcos family, and other controversies in his administration.
Duterte not 'onion-skinned'
Malacañang said the government would show "maximum tolerance" to any protesters on Friday.
"Maximum tolerance is what is in the law and that is what the President follows even without the law, but more so since there is a law," said Roque.
He also claimed the President is not overly-sensitive about criticism.
"Wala naman pong makakareklamo kay Presidente na balat sibuyas si Presidente. Kinikilala niya yung importansya ng malayang pamama – ah – pananalita (No one can complain that the President is onion-skinned. He recognized the importance of a free pre – speech)," said Roque.
Asked about the threat of the supposed destablization plans for September 21, Duterte's spokesman said, "It's not anything the state cannot deal with. Dream on to those who want to remove the President." – Rappler.com