Oct 242014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2005/06/05MANILA2626.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05MANILA2626 2005-06-06 06:59 2011-08-30 01:44 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Manila
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002626

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/PMBS, EAP/PD, INR/EAP, INR/B

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/06/2015
TAGS: PREL PGOV KPAO PINR RP
SUBJECT: PALACE ASSERTS THAT OPPOSITION IS TRYING TO USE
“TAPES” AS PART OF DESTABILIZATION PLOT

REF: A. MANILA 2578

¶B. MANILA 2359
¶C. MANILA – EAP/PMBS 05/11/05 CLASS E-MAIL
¶D. MANILA 2103
¶E. MANILA 1998

Classified By: Political Officer Andrew McClearn for
reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

¶1. (C) Summary: Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye
publicly stated June 5 that Malacanang was worried that the
opposition was trying to use an alleged tape of presidential
conversations as part of a destabilization plot. Bunye also
stated that the opposition claimed that the tape had come
from the U.S. Embassy. Mission dismissed the allegations,
and underscored the USG’s strong support for Philippine
democracy and stability, as well as our opposition to any
extra-constitutional activities. Malacanang, which has been
taking a pounding recently regarding “jueteng” and falling
poll numbers, clearly believes that pre-emptively getting
this story in the press would undermine the opposition’s
efforts to use the alleged tape to discredit the
Administration. End Summary.

—————————-
Malacanang goes to the Press
—————————–

¶2. (U) Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye publicly stated
June 5 that Malacanang was worried that the opposition was
trying to use an alleged tape of presidential conversations
as part of a destabilization plot. Bunye also stated that
the opposition claimed that the tape had come from the U.S.
Embassy. Leading newspapers all carried front-page articles
citing Bunye as decrying an “opposition plot to destabilize”
the GRP through the use of the alleged tape and quoted him
stating that “the plotters are claiming the tape came from
sources in the USG.” Bunye also said in a June 5 radio
discussion that he expected opposition politicians to release
the contents of the tape in the near future. Bunye said the
alleged taped conversations purportedly involved the
President discussing “election fraud” with one of the
Commissioners of the GRP’s Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
in May-June 2004. He insisted the tape was a fabrication.

¶3. (C) Queried by press sources, Mission denied any
involvement in the matter. Mission also underscored our
strong support for Philippine democracy and stability, as
well as our opposition to any extra-constitutional
activities. (Note: Emboffs received an alleged transcript of
the tape several weeks ago from opposition contacts, although
not the purported tape itself. Mission translation of the
alleged transcript appears to show discussions of electoral
manipulation, but contains no “smoking gun” as to purported
Malacanang involvement — see ref C. Late June 6, a contact
informed Emboff that opposition elements are planning to hold
a press conference attacking GMA that will make references to
the alleged tape. End note.)

—————————–
Malacanang Approaches Mission
—————————–

¶4. (C) Separately, Bunye met with Public Affairs Counselor
June 4 to discuss reports that the USG had provided the
opposition with the alleged tape. PA Counselor dismissed
this claim. Bunye also asked whether the USG was angry with
the GRP for trying to improve relations with China. PA
Counselor replied that this claim was wholly unfounded. In a
June 6 press event regarding the 2005 Trafficking in Persons
report, reporters asked PA Counselor about the reports. PA
Counselor again dismissed the notion the USG was involved in
any way. Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Albert Del
Rosario, who is in Manila, also requested clarification from
the Charge on June 4 about allegations that a USG official
had provided the tape to the opposition. Charge denied the
claim and reiterated US support for democracy and stability
in the Philippines. National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)
Director Reynaldo Wycoco also brought up the allegations in a
June 5 meeting with Legatt. Legatt also dismissed the
claims.

——-
Comment
——-

¶5. (C) Malacanang, which has been taking a pounding recently
regarding jueteng and falling poll numbers (reftels), must
believe that this pre-emptive strike would undermine any
effort by the opposition to use the alleged tape as a way to
discredit the Administration. We are not sure of the precise
origin tape itself, much less of the wild charge that the USG
was somehow involved in this matter. Politicians of all
stripes in the Philippines often try to show that they have
the blessing of the U.S., while the other side does not. The
reluctance of the opposition to release the tape earlier may
indicate a realization that its contents were less damaging
than rumors could be. Mission will continue to urge all
sides to focus on constructive activities that do not breed
further cynicism toward politics and politicians.

Visit Embassy Manila’s Classified SIPRNET website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/manila/index. cfm

You can also access this site through the State Department’s
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http://www.state.sgov.gov/
MUSSOMELI

   

 

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