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Solicitor General plans prosecutions amid claims of ‘destabilisation plot’

Solicitor General Jose Calida did not name names, but hinted that the “yellows” may be in his sights

Solicitor General Jose Calida has revealed plans to prosecute unnamed people for an alleged plot to destabilise the Duterte administration.

He said: “There are obviously many attempts to bring down the president, which are obviously part of a grand plan. Now, they are doing it before the international community to gather attention and sympathy,” he said, in reference to the complaint recently lodged at the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Calida refused to identify who would be the possible subjects of the cases but hinted they would include the “yellows”, which is the colour identified with the Liberal Party.

“When they lost in the elections last year, these yellows are trying everything to bring down President Duterte. They just cannot accept defeat,” he said.

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Calida criticised the complaint filed before the ICC against Duterte and 11 other officials.

He believes the complaint filed by Jude Jose Sabio, lawyer of self-confessed Davao Death Squad hit man Edgar Matobato, was baseless and only intended to destabilise the administration.

“Matobato is being coddled by (Senator Antonio) Trillanes. So you would know the agenda right away,” he said.

“I am now building the cases. To paraphrase a Bible verse, they who sow the wind shall reap the whirlwind,” he said.

Meanwhile, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, another staunch Duterte ally, alleged that some foreign groups had an agenda to oust the president.

In particular he singled out a stinging editorial in The New York Times and an appeal by Amnesty International (AI) for ASEAN leaders to take a stand against Duterte’s drug war.

“It’s obvious now that The New York Times has an ‘agenda’ for the Philippines and it’s against the President,” Pimentel said.

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“Will or should Filipinos allow the NYT to change the result of the last presidential elections? The elections are over! Filipinos should rally behind the result,” he said.

He also slammed AI for its interference but said its call would fall on deaf ears. “Looks like Amnesty International also has an agenda,” he said.

“ASEAN has been built around the principle of non-interference in each country’s internal affairs. Hence the appeal of AI will definitely be ignored, if not rejected by the ASEAN members.”

The president also hit out at his critics yesterday, in particular the TV channel ABS-CBN and the newspaper The Inquirer, which he accused of “crucifying him”.

As we reported this week, the president has threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise for allegedly taking money for election broadcasts that were never shown.

He also accused the owners of The Inquirer of property fraud. “From Marcos crony to Aquino Corazon, you are cronies. You’ve always been a crony. And it has long expired, the lease of that property,” he said.

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The publisher of The Inquirer, Raul Pangalangan, is also a judge at the ICC.

A report issued yesterday by press freedom watchdog Reporters without Borders, said that the Philippines remains one of the world’s most dangerous places for journalists.

Late last year, it was alleged that outgoing American ambassador Philippe Goldberg has created a blueprint for undermining the current administration, dubbed the Goldberg Plan.