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MANILA/NEW YORK (via PhilAmPress) ̶ A plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte by 2017 by several Filipino-Americans is in the works and while many have doubts about it, Malacanang said it was investigating the matter.


The alleged plot was reported by Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar after a fellow Cabinet member who was in New York was reportedly told about the brewing plot which he said will not prosper.


The ouster plot could be a handiwork of people trying to take advantage as Duterte has drawn flak from local and international human rights groups for the spate of drug-related killings in the country. About 3,000 suspected drug personalities have been killed since the president assumed office on June 30.


The United States, the European Union and the United Nations have expressed concerns over the killings and have called on the Philippines to uphold human rights.


President Duterte earlier blamed the “yellows” – those identified with the Aquino administration and the Liberal Party – for fueling criticisms against his administration.


But the LP and its titular head, Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo, denied any ouster plot. Robredo, who is a Cabinet member of Duterte in charge of the housing sector, said she is not supporting any destabilization plot and wanted Mr. Duterte to stay in office.


Duterte said he is putting at stake his life, honor, and presidency for his crackdown on narcotics and does not mind losing the presidency as failure to curb the drug problem would compromise the future of the next generation. 


Duterte has  alleged that “yellows” are out to discredit him so he would be removed from office. Duterte claimed that the criticisms against his anti-drug war are part of the effort to impeach him.


Andanar did not identify the Cabinet member but it was presumed to be Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay who attended the United Nations in New York after meetings in Washington D.C. who was told of the alleged ouster plot.


In Malacañang, officials said they are not taking for granted any information it receives concerning destabilization plots against the Duterte administration but has no plans yet of carrying out legal actions against the people involved in the plot.


For now, Malacañang officials are doing validation and vetting process on personalities who are planning to oust President Duterte from his post, said Andanar.


“We are looking into it seriously. We are investigating it. Let’s stick to that for now and we know that these plans are being hatched,” Andanar said.


“We are aware of this and we have names, I’ve received names but I’m not going to mention it because, you know, I was also a journalist and we might be charged with libel,” Andanar said in a press briefing.


 “We have names. We know who they are. We are studying it. The warning is: Just be careful in what you plan because it’s against the law,” he added.


Malacanang, however, warned those who are behind the destabilization plot against the President.


Andanar said his office received intelligence reports recently on a number of influential Filipino-American businessmen and leaders in the U.S. who are planning to replace the current president on or before January 1, 2017.


“We have names. We know who they are. We were studying it and the warning is just to be careful on what you plan,” Andanar said.


“Whoever is planning ouster or coup d’ etat, just be careful of what you do and make sure that whatever you do is within the bounds of the constitution,” he added.


Malacañang refused to elaborate on the alleged plot that has been uncovered.


Many leaders and members of the Cabinet said they are confident that the ‘Oust Duterte Movement’ will not prosper because of the unrelenting support that President Duterte is getting from the people.


Duterte, who was voted to office by 16 million Filipinos, has an approval rating of 91 percent. (Alfred Gabot/Claire M. True)


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