Palace says Loida Lewis plotting against Duterte

Posted on December 09, 2016

MALACAÑANG on Thursday, Dec. 8, affirmed President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s recent remarks linking a Filipino expat in a plot to depose him.

For her part, New York-based businesswoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis -- a known supporter of the previous administration of Benigno S. C. Aquino III -- denied that she is organizing any movement against Mr. Duterte.

But, in an interview with ANC, Ms. Lewis called on Mr. Duterte to resign and “let Vice-President Leni [Maria Leonor G. Robredo] become president,” so she can continue Mr. Duterte’s war on drugs “without killing anybody.”

In her press briefing on Thursday, Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Marie Rafael-Banaag said: “The President raised ’yung tungkol kay (about) Ms. Lewis, [in] July or August and nobody was talking about it, nobody believe[d] it. And now, Ms. Lewis is going out in the open and saying let’s oust President Duterte.”

“And perhaps in his mind and from other sources he may know that there is something going on up there, a plot against him. A plot to oust him, he knows -- the President ha[s] been in politics for many years. So he knows what, whenever he says something about ousting or plotting against him,” Ms. Banaag also said.

Without naming anyone, Mr. Duterte, in a speech early last month, said there was a woman “millionaire” who is “planning to do massive demonstration.”

“So, let us see kasi meron (because there is) -- next year, a certain financier, mayaman na babae (a rich woman) who married a black and is now a millionaire and she is planning to do massive demonstration. All those who are of this western persuasion,” Mr. Duterte said.

To recall, Palace officials had alleged in recent months that some members of the Filipino-American community in New York are brewing an ouster movement against Mr. Duterte.

In her ANC interview, Ms. Lewis said: “So his promise [that he] will resign in six months if the drug epidemic is not solved, he should be true to that promise at least, no extension, resign now, President Duterte.” -- Ian Nicolas P. Cigaral