Philippines’ Duterte alleges coup plot based on tip from a foreign power

In this photo released by the Malacanang Presidential Photographers Division, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, left, listens to a question from Chief Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo during a state TV talk show at the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday Sept. 11, 2018. (AP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Philippines’ Duterte alleges coup plot based on tip from a foreign power

MANILA: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday revealed what he said was a plot to unseat him hatched by the opposition, Maoist rebels and a group of former soldiers who had mounted failed coups in the past.
In a conversation with his lawyer, shown on national television, Duterte said he had asked the military to “declassify” information about the plot which he said was gathered by a third country he did not identify.
“We have the evidence and we have the conversation provided by a foreign country sympathetic to us,” Duterte told Salvador Panelo, presidential legal counsel, in an hour-long conversation.
He said the Communists, politicians opposed to him and a group of ex-servicemen, including a senator he wanted arrested after revoking his amnesty, “were in constant communication.”
Duterte said the “connection will be shown, maybe any day now.”
Last week, Duterte withdrew a 2010 amnesty granted to his most vocal critic, Senator Antonio Trillanes, a former junior naval officer who led two unsuccessful coup attempts 15 years ago, and ordered his arrest.
Trillanes’ party-mate, Congressman Gary Alejano, who also took part in the failed coups, denied the president’s accusations they were plotting his ouster, saying they were only doing their work as “members of the opposition under the checks and balance system of our democratic government.”
Alejano said the president was trying to “divert the attention of the people from the present economic woes they themselves have failed to address.”
Duterte also warned soldiers against “colluding” with Trillanes’ group as coup rumors swirled in the capital early on Tuesday after army trucks and armored vehicles were seen rolling down Manila’s main roads.
The military quickly denied there were “sizeable movements of military aircraft or armored vehicles.”
“There is no cause for alarm,” military spokesman Marine Col. Edgard Arevalo told reporters, adding these were “routine movements that are properly coordinated.”


Accept EU deal or face ‘economic disaster’, French minister warns Brexiters

Updated 47 min 25 sec ago
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Accept EU deal or face ‘economic disaster’, French minister warns Brexiters

PARIS: French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Friday that Brexit advocates must choose between accepting the deal negotiated by London and Brussels for leaving the EU or risk “economic disaster.”
“The choice now faced by British political leaders who have advocated Brexit is to renounce their absurd political promise or face economic disaster, with the British people the main victims,” Le Maire said at a Paris forum on reforming the World Trade Organization.
“What does Brexit demonstrate? It shows that leaving the common European market has an exorbitant economic cost,” he said.
“There are a number of lying and irresponsible politicians in Britain who told the British people that Brexit would turn out to be a golden tomorrow,” he added.
Le Maire’s comments came as British Prime Minister Theresa May battles to salvage her draft Brexit deal and her own political future.
After a tumultuous Thursday in which several ministers resigned and members of her own conservative party plotted to oust her, May said in a radio interview Friday that she believed with “every fiber of my being” in the Brexit course.
Members of parliament on all sides have warned her there is no way the plan can win their approval, but she has dismissed calls to quit, saying: “Am I going to see this through? Yes!”
Critics of the deal say May has conceded too much to Brussels, while EU supporters are calling for a new vote on whether to leave the union.