MANILA—Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday claimed that some drug lords were funding a destabilization plot versus Pres. Rodrigo Duterte so that they could protect their drug trading businesses.
Cayetano, a staunch ally of Pres. Duterte, said that although he had no “specific” information and could not drop names, he knew about an alleged destabilization plot as early as during Duterte’s presidential campaign.
“I do not know what specifically the drug lords are financing, what I am saying it is part of organized crime to use their money so that they can continue their business and get rid of Duterte,” Cayetano said in a press conference in Quezon City.
“Even during the campaign naramdaman namin (we felt it),” he added. Duterte vowed to eliminate illegal drugs in the country through an aggressive campaign.
Cayetano further said that there is “pending money” to get rid of the President although he was “not at liberty” to talk about it.
He also hit back at politicians and human rights group which he claimed also took part in destabilization efforts against the President.
For instance, he said that the act of Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV calling Duterte a “dictator, mass murderer and plunderer” was part of the destabilization plot despite their denial.
“Sasabihin nila walang destabilization pero on the other hand gusto nila tanggalin ang Presidente (They say there’s no destabilization but on the other hand they want to oust the President). If that is not destabilization then what is?” Cayetano said.
The senator said that human rights groups and politicians should “separate” political agenda from their advocacies.
“Iba ang intensyon mo na mapaganda ang police enforcement at iba ang target mong tanggalin ang Presidente. Magkaibang objective pero naipagsasama (There is a different intention in improving the police enforcement and there is a different target to oust the President. These are different objectives but they go together),” he added.
The senator said he doesn’t blame human rights groups from advocating a “more humane” approach to the illegal drugs campaign but said that it should not mix with politics.
He cited human rights groups’ concern over De Lima’s arrest and detention making it seem like the President himself was behind it.
“Are they now saying our courts are under Duterte and we have a dictatorship? Ang style ng grupo ni De Lima and Trillanes to weaken the court system and make it appear to the international community na walang law and order sa Pilipinas (The style of the group of De Lma and Trillanes is to weaken the court system and make it appear to the international community that there is no law and order in the Philippines),” Cayetano said.
“(The) problem with human rights group is nakisawsaw na sa pulitika (is that they’re involving themselves in politics),” he added.
He said that although there were people who were sincere in their advocacies, he could not deny the presence of drug lords and politicians who joined in.
“While there are people who honestly do not like what’s happening, there are real human rights activists meron ding drug lords na sumasakay dito, meron ding pulitiko na sumasakay dito (there are also drug lords that ride on this, there are politicians who ride on this),” he further said.
Cayetano, meanwhile, clarified that this did not mean that human rights groups and politicians were not allowed to speak against the President.
Despite the increase in deaths linked to the anti-drug campaign, Cayetano maintained that the killings were not state-sponsored and that it was the duty of law enforcers to protect the public.
“We should see the facts on the ground. When you have to talk about human rights, you talk about human security. Human rights without security is anarchy,” Cayetano said.
“The universal declaration of human rights are meant to make human beings secure. In any law enforcement operation, may natatamaan (there are people affected). Any death should not happen but when two opposing forces both armed, what do we do?” he added.
Cayetano reiterated his call to relaunch the current war on drugs to the people’’s war on drugs.