Antiestablishment approach has made him wildly popular at home, despite questions over drug war policies By JAMES HOOKWAY Updated J...
Sunday, November 6, 2016
Duterte unmasks Loida Nicolas Lewis’ plot to launch massive protests to oust him
President Rodrigo Duterte has identified Loida Nicolas-Lewis, the leading campaigner of defeated presidential bet Mar Roxas, as one of the moving forces behind a plan to launch protest rallies against his administration.
Although he did not name her, Duterte was obviously referring to Nicolas-Lewis -the widow of Richard Lewis, the richest African-American businessman in the 1980s.
In a speech at the Manila Hotel Friday night, Duterte said: “Next year, there will be mass demonstration, for all I care. Wala akong illusions. Do not give me a reason to go out because you might have…you might get your wish.”
“Meron next year, a certain financier, mayaman na babae who married a black and is now a millionaire and she is planning to do massive demonstration,” he added.
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar had previously reported on rumors from the Filipino-American community in the US about plans to oust Duterte because of his alleged human rights violations and continuous attacks against the US.
He mockinlgy told Nicolas-Lewis he’d follow her advise and give her own advisory staff.
“If ou think that you can help, sabihin mo sa akin because I will appoint you a group of presidential advisers with a Cabinet position or without a portfolio but with the rank of a Cabinet. And I will follow your instruction to a tee,” he said.
Duterte is not the bit worried about plans to topple him from power by pro-American forces.
“All those who are of this western persuasion. Kung bilib kayo sa America, kung tingin ninyo nagkautang kayo ng loob, please join. And hindi na kailangan magkudeta-coup d’etat. Ibigay ko siya. I myself will swear you sa Malacañang. That these are the new rulers of the Republic and they will run the country, fine,” said Duterte.
“Yung ayaw sa akin, madali yan. And if the military or the police thinks that I do not…no need for coup d’etat. God, you are wasting your bullet. Go to Malacañan, we’ll have coffee and I myself will swear you to run this Republic and solve the problem. Walang problema,” he added.
Nicolas-Lewis was part of a 25-person delegation from the US-Philippines Society, a private group comprising business executives and diplomats, who met with Duterte a week before his inauguration.
Nicolas-Lewis was accompanied by former Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia,PLDT Chair Manuel V. Pangilinan, retired American diplomats, executives from Coca Cola, SGV, JP Morgan, and other top corporations.
Nicolas-Lewis is the sister of former Arroyo National Anti-Poverty Commission Chair Imelda Nicolas who was part of the “Hyatt 10” Cabinet which abandoned then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2005 due to the “Hello Garci” election scandal. Imelda and most of the Hyatt 10 members ended up having key posts in the Aquino administration. Imelda was appointed head of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas.