Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Tuesday, December 11, dismissed as “fake news” presidential son Paolo Duterte's list of personalities, groups, and business establishments allegedly conniving to unseat President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The first time I saw that posting, I said it's fake news. I still maintain that it's fake news,” Lorenzana told reporters after leading the transfer ceremony of the Balangiga Bells back to the Philippines.
The defense chief made the statement when asked about Paolo Duterte's list, which the former Davao City vice mayor first posted on his Facebook page on Friday, December 7.
Lorenzana did not expound on why the post was fake, though Paolo Duterte himself deleted the post over the weekend.
The supposed “Anti Administration Group” plotting an “Oust Duterte Movement” included Vice President Leni Robredo, Catholic bishops, business establishments like popular fast-food chain Jollibee, and media personalities such as Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa.
On Sunday, December 9, Presidential Spokesperson and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo defended Paolo Duterte's decision to post the list as part of “freedom of expression.” In separate statements, Robredo and Senator Nancy Binay, in separate statements, slammed it as “irresponsible.”
In September, the military bared the supposed “Red October” ouster plot against the President, after Duterte himself claimed that a broad coalition group was out to unseat him. By mid-October, Lorenzana said the plot fizzled out after the military bared it to the public. – Rappler.com