By Daniza Fernandez | Inquirer.net
MANILA, Philippines — The camp of former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday alleged that there is an assassination plot against him, and that concerned government agencies are now looking into the matter.
A press release from Marcos’ camp sent to various media entities claimed that the Department of Justice Office of Cybercrime has already initiated an investigation after receiving a message informing it of an intent to kill the presidential aspirant.
The message alluded to a TikTok post, which read: “WE ARE meeting everyday to plan for BBM’s assassination. Get ready.”
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said that the National Bureau of Investigation is now probing the matter.
“Yes, it was our Office of Cybercrime who received an online tip, and acted immediately in view of the serious nature of the information received. The NBI is now also on it,” he said in a message to reporters.
DOJ’s cybercrime group officer-in-charge lawyer Charito Zamora said they have coordinated with Tiktok’s Law Enforcement Outreach Trust and Safety and requested to “preserve the data related to the subject account while the Philippine authorities are working on the legal process for its disclosure.”
Aside from the NBI Cyber Crime Division (NBI-CCD), the case has also been referred to the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG).
“We made an initial investigation on the matter and referred the same to the NBI-CCD & PNP-ACG for further investigation. We also emailed the TikTok Law Enforcement Outreach and requested the data related to the subject account preserved pending investigation by the law enforcement agents concerned,” Zamora said.
Guevarra said that the NBI will prioritize any validated information which threatens the personal security of any presidential bet.
“[T]he NBI will give priority attention to any validated information pertaining to a threat to the personal security of any presidential aspirant,” he said.
“[W]e have not received any similar information regarding personal threats to other aspirants for top national elective position,” Guevarra added.
Meanwhile, Marcos’ chief of staff and spokesperson lawyer Vic Rodriguez said that “while the report on the assassination plot is concerning, we are not cowered by such threat. Bongbong shall continue to personally deliver his message around the country with firm resolve to unify the nation.”
“We commend the cybercrime office of the Justice department, through Sec. Menardo Guevarra, for its swift and uncompromising response to uncover those behind this open threat to harm aspiring president Bongbong Marcos,” he said.