Malacañang rejects US intel report tagging Duterte as threat to democracy

Malacañang rejects US intel report tagging Duterte as threat to democracy

Malacañang cannot be quiet regarding the tagging of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte as a threat to democracy.

The palace has rejected such tagging by the  World Threat Assessment Report calling the Philippine President in the same league with ruling Thai officials and Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, as among regional leaders who threaten democracy and human rights.

“For one, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte is no autocrat or has autocratic tendencies. He adheres to the rule of law and remains loyal to the Constitution,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.   *
video grab from ABS-CBN

The Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Community released a report, dated Feb. 12, stating that Duterte has suggested he could suspend the constitution and declare a revolutionary government or martial law.

"In the Philippines, President Duterte will continue to wage his signature campaign against drugs, corruption, and crime. Duterte has suggested he could suspend the Constitution, declare a 'revolutionary government,' and impose nationwide martial law. His declaration of martial law in Mindanao, responding to the ISIS-inspired siege of Marawi City, has been extended through the end of 2018," the report said.

It was also cited the Freedom House report, the US intel report listing the Philippines as one of the governments that use propaganda and misinformation in social media ““to influence foreign and domestic audiences.”

Roque, described all that is in the report as “myopic and speculative” at best.

He acknowledged that the Duterte administration uses social media to promote government messages and accomplishments, but noted that the opposition and other cause-oriented groups do the same.

“We have to understand the use of social media has become an important part of the daily lives of Filipinos,” Roque said describing it “foolhardy” not to tap social media as a tool. *

“I don't know of any government in the free world which does not use the internet and social media to promote its agenda. This is very true especially in the case of the US. This latest intelligence assessment is a classic case in point,” Presidential Spokesperson said.

The Presidential Spokesperson continues to explain that there is no autocracy in the Philippines since all media outfits are still able to broadcast and print what they want, including fake news.

He also said that the Philippine judiciary and the courts are functioning as usual, legislature remains independent, and basic services are still being delivered.

“There is no revolutionary government or nationwide martial law, which US intelligence officials are saying that the President might declare or impose,” Roque said.

In a different occasion Roque response regarding the matter is that because of the President’s independent foreign policy has made him “not a favorite among the Americans.”

"We view this declaration from no less than the intelligence department of the United States with some concern, knowing that at least in one case the International Court of Justice has found the US guilty of interference in the affairs of a domestic state," he added, citing the case of Republic of Nicaragua v. The United States of America.  *

"This is something we are taking very seriously. It is coming from the intelligence community. It is not even coming from the State Department. It is something that the President will take seriously as well."

In its decision, the ICJ found the US guilty of violating international law by supporting an armed rebellion against the Nicaraguan government ( abs cbn “US intel brands Duterte a threat to democracy; PH eyes assessment 'very seriously'”)

The Presidential spokesperson explains that the country still wants to be friends with the United States "but with declarations such as this, it is very difficult to be friendly with the United States...It doesn't seem to be too friendly a declaration."
Report from PNA



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