JOURNALISTS TAGGED IN ‘OUST DUTERTE’ PLOT

PNP to validate  matrix of plotters

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it will conduct a validation on the matrix showed by Malacañang which includes names of journalists and media organizations allegedly involved in a destabilization plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

The PNP Directorate for Intelligence and Detective Management (DIMD) and the Directorate for Intelligence have been tasked to spearhead the investigation.

“Yes of course, (we will investigate). If that is released by the Office of the President, though we have not obtained a specific instruction or directive on that. We have not received a memorandum or whatever, as of this time, to investigate,” Albayalde told reporters in a press briefing in Camp Crame.

“What we do is just like what we do with the information we obtain. We conduct a validation so that when we are asked to comment, we can give them information quickly. At least we are prepared,” he added.

The PNP chief said if proven that they are really involved in the said ouster plot, the journalists will be charged with appropriate cases.

In a speech in Tuguegarao City on April 16, Duterte said intelligence reports have been fed to him from “foreign” sources about the supposed coordinated media plot to discredit him.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo admitted that the President himself ordered him to release the matrix in a Malacañang press conference on Monday.

Panelo defended the matrix, stressing that the President has basis to release it and that it underwent “proper validation.”

He also emphasized the importance of releasing the matrix, saying it is the government’s “constitutional duty to inform the public of what’s happening”.

Panelo also floated the possibility that the journalists and media organizations listed in the matrix could be feeding their stories to “enemies of the state”.

Among the names mentioned in the matrix are members of the National Union of People’s Lawyers, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), and Rappler.

According to Panelo, the matrix worked in such a way that a certain “Bikoy”, the source of these negative reports against the President, would provide stories to Vera Files President Ellen Tordesillas, who would later distribute the stories to the NUPL, PCIJ, and Rappler to write about.

Panelo said releasing the matrix was already an act of telling the public not to trust the journalists and media organizations mentioned.

He noted that the President will just continue doing his job to give Filipinos a more comfortable life.

Panelo said the Palace is also ready to face whatever libel charges journalists and media organizations may file against them. (PNA

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