Roque: Duterte confident military won't oust him

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 12) — President Rodrigo Duterte is sure no one from the Armed Forces would stand up to the challenge of overthrowing his administration.

This was the explanation issued by Malacañang Wednesday on the President's seeming incitement of soldiers to join forces seeking to oust the President. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said it was actually an "expression of confidence."

"Kampante ang Presidente na wala namang suporta na manggagaling sa hanay ng militar para patalsikin siya sa pwesto," Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

[Translation: "The President is confident there would be no support from the military for efforts to unseat him."]

"Chinallenge niya dahil sigurado naman siya na walang suporta. Pero sinasabi niya na ako'y hindi kapit tuko. Kung gusto niyo, gawin niyo," he added.

[Translation: "He challenged them because he's sure there would be no support (for his overthrow). But he's also saying he is not clinging to his post. If they want to, then do it."]

Duterte, in his televised one-on-one interview with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Sal Panelo on Tuesday, dared members of the Armed Forces to join Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and his Magdalo group and other critics whom the President accused of plotting his ouster.

"I am challenging Magdalo to start now. Kung sigurado ninyo na inyo ang sundalo, o fine. Kung kayong mga general, gusto eh 'di sige. Ipakita natin sa Pilipino kung ano gusto ninyo," Duterte said.

[Translation: "I am challenging Magdalo to start now. If you are sure that you have the support of the soldiers, fine. If you generals want this, go. Show the Filipinos want you want."]

Trillanes and Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano both denied communicating with the Armed Forces to overthrow the Duterte government. Trillanes said these were claims from a "paranoid" President, while Alejano said the group will not "resort to any extra constitutional means."

Both lawmakers earlier urged the military not to follow the President's "illegal order" to arrest Trillanes following the voidance of his amnesty.

Duterte has since said there will be no military arrest for Trillanes, as the President defers to the civilian court's decision. The military also gave its word that it will not arrest Trillanes without a warrant from Makati Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branches 148 and 150, where the Department of Justice filed urgent motions for the courts to issue alias warrant and hold departure order against the soldier-turned lawmaker.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party of the Philippines and the Liberal Party also denied Duterte's allegations they were conniving with the Magdalo group to unseat the President.

Duterte, however, said he has evidence to prove his claim. He said he will soon make public his critics' "conversation provided by a foreign country sympathetic to us."