~ A Filipino-American business magnate vehemently denied any role in an alleged plot to oust Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte through massive demonstrations next year. Apparently the motive for the mass action was to protest alleged human rights violations by the Duterte admininstration and its unrelenting attacks against the United States.
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LONDON – A Filipino-American business tycoon on Monday denied involvement in an alleged plot to destabilize the government of Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte that would ultimately lead to his ouster.
“The allegations that I am supporting a plot to unseat President Duterte are a complete fabrication and totally false,” declares Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, chair and chief executive officer of TLC Beatrice, LLC, a family investment firm, and known supporter of Vice President Leni Robredo.
This reporter sought Ms. Lewis comments in the wake of trending news stories in the Philippines and abroad indicating that she was the one adverted to by President Duterte as the “millionaire married to a Black” who was supposed to be behind the plan.
The 74-year-old Ms. Lewis is the widow of Reginald F. Lewis, the African-American Wall Street financier who had parlayed Beatrice Foods into a $2-billion multinational food company called TLC Beatrice International.
“They (the allegations) are simply not true and I deny them in the strongest possible terms,” Ms. Lewis states in a statement emailed to this reporter currently visiting London, England.
She said she was “concerned that the President is being given misinformation designed to divide the country and advance the interests of a certain political group while casting Filipino Americans in an unfavorable light”.
Ms. Lewis did not identify the “political group” that she believes is plotting the destabilization moves.
To show her support for Mr. Duterte, she said she even asked the incoming U.S. ambassador “to provide help for the President’s anti-drug campaign through programs for the rehabilitation of drug addicts”.
In a speech in Manila on Friday, Nov. 4, President Duterte warned of “massive demonstration” next year against his administration apparently financed by “a rich woman who married a Black”.
The planned mass action is said to be in protest against human rights violations by the Duterte administration and the President’s unrelenting attacks against the United States.
During the election period in the Philippines, Ms. Lewis had campaigned hard in Toronto for the “yellow” tandem of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo. Roxas lost to Mr. Duterte while Robredo’s election is still under protest by former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.