Roque: 'Nothing wrong' with foreign intel on admin critics

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Wednesday said the Palace finds nothing wrong with receiving foreign intelligence information on the administration's biggest critics.

This came after critics blasted President Rodrigo Duterte for letting outside services provide wiretapped information from the opposition.

The President on Tuesday pronounced there was a plot to "assassinate" and remove him from office. Duterte said he got the information from a "foreign country sympathetic to us."

In a media briefing, Roque said foreign intel is part of the "nature of diplomatic relations" these days.

"Intel is precisely intended to provide new information to avoid eventualities," Roque told reporters.

"Even as early as the time we developed inter-state relations, the gathering of intel has always been recognized as the function of diplomatic missions."

"We have been beneficiaries of shared information from the United States about terrorist groups. Nothing wrong with that," he added.

READ: Duterte talks about Trillanes, ouster plot, rice supply woes, third telco player in interview

The spokesperson also addressed criticisms that the alleged wiretapping can result into an impeachable offense for the country's chief executive.

"Ultimately, whether or not it is impeachable will be a decision of the House of Representatives," Roque said.

Wiretapping is considered illegal under Philippine law. Republic Act No. 4200 or the Anti Wire-Tapping Law says it is "unlawful for any person to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word."

Meanwhile, Communist leader Joma Sison also challenged Duterte to release proof of the opposition ouster plot. He said the supposed conspiracy was a "complete lie."