MANILA MalacaAang scoffed at personalities tagged in the expanded plot to discredit President Rodrigo Duterte for denying the allegation, stressing that they were all praises for the controversial Ang Totoong Narcolist videos, which linked the Chief Executive's family and allies to the illegal drug trade.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made this remark after claiming that members of the Liberal Party, Magdalo group, media outlets, and other LP supporters in the Oust Duterte matrix were conspiring to tarnish the President's reputation and boost their candidates' chances of winning a seat in the midterm polls.
Some personalities linked with the Oust Duterte Matrix issued poker-faced denials, which naturally are expected of them. Yet one begins to wonder why they were all praises for the Bikoy videos, with some even anticipating the online release of the same as if they already knew of their existence, said Panelo in a statement on Wednesday night.
Panelo earlier alleged that Peter Joemel Advincula, a man claiming to be 'Bikoy' in the videos, was only being used as a pawn by the plotters named in the matrices.
He defended anew the release of the matrices, noting that Filipinos have the right to be informed on matters of public concern.
Panelo also clarified that the Palace always welcomed constructive dissent, but will draw the line when dissenters start to violate the Constitution.
In a democracy, constructive dissent makes it vibrant and this Administration welcomes its exercise. When it however crosses the line of acts falling as crimes under the Revised Penal Code, then the dissenters become transgressors of law and the constituted authorities are duty bound to enforce the law and cause their prosecution, Panelo said.
Panelo, however, said the Palace will leave it to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute the people, who appear to have violated the law.
Due process is given, its observance is unequivocal as it is mandatory, as demanded by the Constitution and as meticulously and strictly observed by this Administration. It is in the legal arena that the rules on evidence will hold sway. The parties will be given their day in court, Panelo said.
Panelo, meanwhile, described calls for a probe on those tagged by Advincula to the illegal drug trade as a waste of time and money.
The government's time and taxpayers' money cannot be wasted on an inquiry against those Bikoy maliciously named, including the President's teenage daughter, Kitty, Panelo said.
Earlier, the DOJ urged Bikoy to file a complaint against the personalities he identified in the videos, including those related to the President.
Panelo said that should Advincula file a complaint, the investigating prosecutor will have to conduct the required preliminary investigation to determine probable cause. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency