Here goes the CIA plot again

Pres. Duterte at the
7th anniversary of the public service show, ‘Buhay OFW’, Oct. 18. Malacanang photo by Richard Madelo.

President Duterte’s paranoia about the CIA wanting him out is on overdrive again fueled by reports that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV was in the United States where he met with an U.S. Republican senator that his foreign secretary, Alan Peter Cayetano had tried to meet but was not able to.

At the 7th anniversary of Buhay TV show last week, Duterte said, “Now they say that the CIA wanted me out of the government. I believe so but not really killing me but they could have — they would have preferred another one. But one thing is very sure is they do not like me; and I do not like them also.”

He told the adoring crowd that U.S. President Donald Trump has invited him to go to visit the U.S. But he said, “Here comes the two Senators from the US Congress, they were here saying, ‘Oh we will protest if he goes there.’ And I answered: ‘Who told you I will go there?’”

Fact Check: Twelve, not two, U.S. senators opposed the announced invitation by Trump to Duterte to visit the U.S. In a letter on May 24, 2017, the senators, all Democrats, wrote to Trump: “While the Philippines remains a vital US ally, we are concerned that hosting Pres. Duterte at the White House while this campaign of mass atrocities continue would send the wrong message.”

This is not the first time that Duterte has regaled his audience with a CIA plot to kill him. During a state visit to Vietnam last September, Duterte announced: “Sabi nila pa-plano-plano raw ang CIA na patayin ako. Susmaryosep, ginoo,”

But his own Defense Secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, didn’t take it seriously. “I talked with the Americans and they said, ‘We don’t do that. The Americans don’t do that’,” Lorenzana said last year in a meeting with foreign correspondents.

The CIA plot is again being revived with the report that Trillanes met with Sen. Marco Antonio Rubio from Florida.

Rubio, by the way was one of the two senators (the other one was Senator Ben Cardin, a Democract) who filed a bill restricting the export of certain U.S. weapons to the Philippine National Police due to the reported widespread violations of human rights in the PNP’s war against drugs.

Cayetano said he had tried to meet with Rubio while he was in the U.S but the Florida senator was busy attending to the aftermath of a hurricane that hit his state.

Rubio tweeted the meeting which was confirmed by Trillanes: “I would like to confirm the information that I met with senior US government officials to include Senator Marco Rubio. As mentioned in the tweet of Sen. Rubio, we talked about enhancing RP-US relations, corruption and the human rights situation in the country.”

Trillanes denied the false reports coming from Malacanang that he tried to stop the visit of Trump to Manila for the meeting with ASEAN Leaders on Nov. 14 and 15.

“To be clear, I did not try to stop the state visit of Pres. Trump since these things are carefully planned and cannot be stopped on the mere say so of a Philippine senator. Be assured that I pushed for the interests of our country, “ said the senator, who is a fierce critic of Duterte

Trillanes addressed the concern of Malacañang officials on giving “accurate information” about the country. “Unlike the officials of the Duterte Administration, I presented only factual information. Besides, you cannot fool the US government; they know what’s happening in our country.”

Trillanes stressed: “Let me emphasize that the interests of our country are not necessarily the same as the interests of Mr. Duterte.”

True. What is good for the Duterte may not be good for the Filipino people.