Cabinet Secretary Leoncio B. Evasco said that the plans of Liberal Party member (LP) and some rich businessman to overthrow President Rodrigo Duterte "will fail."
This is what Evasco said during the introduction ceremony of new officers of Zamboanga del Norte United Correspondents (ZNUC).
ZNUC is a group of local media practitioners here in the Philippines.
"Now, they are convincing the military and police, this Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, to join in their cause to topple Duterte," Evasco said.
"That's because they look down on us, they did not know that our minds were molded by our experiences, our studies, and our outlook of life that the elite don't have," Evasco added.
Evasco also said that the elite group tried to destroy Duterte by using the media, riding on issues of summary killings, extrajudicial killings, and the burial of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
"Sad to say, there are a lot of media practitioners who succumbed to the temptation of money. And we are talking of millions of pesos here," Evasco said.
He said the group went international and this is the reason why American President Barack Obama, United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union want to investigate the alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines.
"And it was good they did it because it was an opportunity for (President) Duterte to enunciate his independent foreign policy," he said.
"By being rich, America or the European Union or the UN have no right to tell us what is good for us. In pursuing an independent foreign policy, you must be a friend to everybody. And if the President is resisting the bullying of our supposed friend, the United States, it doesn't mean we are already aligning with the opposite, China or Russia." he added.
"But I want to tell you, my people in Dapitan and Zamboanga del Norte, they will fail, because anything you do – if it benefits the people – it will never be toppled down," Evasco said.
Trillanes said that the allegation is "absolutely not true."
"Nothing but a misdirection from the political backlash the Duterte administration has been getting as a result of its bloody war on drugs," Trillanes said.
"President Duterte brought the crisis upon himself when he started killing his own people. It was made worse by the series of diplomatic blunders and controversial statements by the President himself," Trillanes added.
Despite this, Evasco reminded the media in Zamboanga del Norte to be true to their chosen field of service.
"The government and media have no other masters except the people. Tell the truth, defend the voiceless and the oppressed. That is not easy, a lot of your colleagues were killed for doing that." Evasco said.
"But whatever it takes to tell and defend the truth, you face it because you committed to be media persons," Evasco added.
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