The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte claimed he had evidence of an assassination plot against him by the group of opposition politicians, Maoist rebels and former military officers.
In the same interview, he mentioned the political party led by his critic Senator Antonio Trillanes, who was involved in two failed revolts against Duterte’s predecessor in 2003 and 2007.
“I’ve heard those were their plans now. If they can’t make it happen though explosions, an assassination. I will be glad to die by your hand. At least I won’t die from the illness. What’s a bullet? Your suffering won’t last for even a second,” he said, as quoted by the CNN Philippines.
He said it in a televised statement, hours after the Philippine Supreme Court declined to intervene in a tense political standoff with his most vocal critic. Duterte also accused the senator’s mother of involvement in transactions with the Philippine Navy, where Trillanes also served.
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”.
Sources: Wsj.com, sputniknews.com, CNN Philippines, Reuters