LP: Robredo not part of destabilization, Duterte himself says so
The Liberal Party (LP) denied on Saturday that Vice President Leni Robredo was involved in an alleged plot to oust President Rodrigo Duterte. The President’s allies, the party added, were the ones who had been destabilizing the administration by spreading lies against the nation’s second highest official.
“They should stop destabilizing the administration and focus instead on the gargantuan tasks of delivering on its campaign promises such as end ‘endo’ and create jobs, finish the traffic nightmare and ease commuters’ lives, and stop corruption and move the country forward, among others,” Sen. Francis Pangilinan, LP president, said.
Pangilinan said Duterte himself had cleared Robredo of any role in an alleged destabilization plot.
“The President’s allies should take this cue from him and refrain from sowing lies, as this is infecting the nation instead of uniting us,” Pangilinan said.
On Monday, Duterte accused mining companies opposed to Environment Secretary Gina Lopez of funding a supposed destabilization plot by making him “unpopular.” But he quickly added: “I’m not saying Leni is involved. I don’t want to drag her name.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has said there was no destabilization plot against the administration, saying criticisms against the administration did not amount to an ouster scheme.
On Friday, the President’s allies on Friday accused Robredo being involved in moves to oust the President. They cited her video message to the United Nations where she criticized the President’s bloody war on drugs.
The video was made public on Wednesday, the day before Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano filed an impeachment complaint against Duterte.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez linked Robredo to the impeachment bid. Alejano has said she had no role in the complaint.
Also on Friday, presidential spokersperson Ernesto Abella said Robredo was in “a pathetic state of affairs.” He noted that the timing of the release of her video and the filing of the impeachment complaint against the President seemed “too neat to be written off as mere coincidence.”
In a statement, the LP said claims linking Robredo to an ouster plot were “baseless, orchestrated lies that only harm the country.”
Pangilinan cited the so-called “NagaLeaks,” an online exposé claiming that Robredo’s late husband, Jesse Robredo, who had served as interior secretary and Naga City mayor, had profited from jueteng and illegal drugs.
“It is the same thing they did to (Sen.) Leila (de Lima) – demonize and vilify with baseless accusations,” Pangilinan said.
De Lima, a vocal critic of the President, is now detained on non-bailable drug charges. She has repeatedly denied links to the drug trade, saying the cases against her were a form of revenge by Duterte, whom she had accused of instigating extrajudicial killings in his war on drugs.
Duterte had appointed Robredo to take charge of housing but later banned her from Cabinet meetings, prompting her to resign in December.
The Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), organizer of the UN event where Robredo’s video message was shown, said the Vice President had nothing to do with the scheduling and did she make any request “as to timing or any other matters.”
In the video shown during a side session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs held in Vienna, Austria, earlier in the week, Robredo said Filipinos had become “hopeless and helpless” in the face of the killings under the President’s brutal war on drugs.
“I saw in Philippines news sources that the Speaker of the House has threatened to hold an impeachment vote against Vice President Robredo, and has charged that she timed the release of the video to coincide with an impeachment motion that was filed against Pres. Duterte the next day,” David Borden, DRCNet executive director, said.
“We released it a few days before the session as a media strategy to draw attention to President Duterte’s atrocities,” he said in a statement. /atm
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