MANILA – Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar called on the Filipino to help protect the life of President Rodrigo Duterte by staying vigilant in the wake of the reported assassination plot against the Philippines’ head of state.
In an interview over radio station DWFM on Friday, Andanar said that aside from efforts of the government troops to protect the President, it would even be better if the people could act as “neighborhood watch” to gather information at the community level to help ensure his safety.
“Of course, malaki din ang tulong ng taumbayan kung tayo ay magsisilbing mga neighborhood watch. Kumbaga, tulungan din natin iyong ating mga kapulisan, dahil alam naman natin na kulang pa rin ang numero ng ating mga pulis,”Andanar said.
The Presidential Security Group is not taking the report lightly. “Itong mga assassination plots na ito, although araw-araw naman nakakatanggap ang ating Pangulo ng assassination threat at ito naman ay minamatyagan ng ating Presidential Security Group (PSG),” Andanar said.
Reports on the assassination plot heightened with the arrest of two men this week, who claimed to be involved in smuggling gun parts concerning this plan.
“Ito kasing nahuli na mga piyesa ng baril ‘no. Eh kung ia-assemble ito sabi nila abot ng isang daan na M16 rifles at gagamitin daw ito dapat sa assassination. Pero meron ding mga reports na naglalabasan na ito pala iyong assassination — this was during the campaign,” he said.
Although the assassination plot is nothing new to President Duterte, the administration has always been on high alert on his security especially now with the unrelenting war on criminality and illegal drugs.
“You know, and lalo na ngayon at napakadami pong mga kalaban at imminent dangers ang ating Pangulo dahil sa kampanya laban sa droga dahil nga dito sa unang sigwada.”
When asked if the latest development on the threat on the life of the President does not bother Malacañang on security concerns in the midst of his scheduled local and international travels? Andanar said “this is part of the territory, itong mga nangyayari sa ating Pangulo, itong mga death threats na ito hindi naman natin ito babalewalain lang. We will also take extra ordinary steps para mas lalong masiguro ang seguridad ng ating Pangulo, “ he said.
President Duterte was placed in office through a landslide vote with about 6 million margin of votes against the closest rival. Few weeks in office, he received a popularity rating of 91%, the highest in the country’s history for a sitting President.
With these numbers and the support the President is getting concerning the priority programs both locally and internationally, the government is confident that majority of the Filipino people will help protect the President from harm to attain the dream of making the country safer for everybody.