De Lima remark on Duterte ‘plan’ for successor a ‘prison hallucination’—Palace
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday dismissed as a mere “prison hallucination” the allegation of detained Senator Leila De Lima that President Rodrigo Duterte has a “malevolent” plan to unseat Vice President Leni Robredo and allow former Senator Bongbong Marcos succeed the President should he step down before his term ends in 2022.
Roque also stressed that the fate of Marcos’ electoral protests is at the hands of the Supreme Court and has nothing to do with the President.
“Prison hallucination. Fate of VP hangs with SC (Supreme Court) and not the President,” Roque told reporters.
De Lima, one of Duterte’s fiercest critics, alleged that the President is bringing down the image of Robredo in order make it easier for the public to accept Marcos’ victory at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.
“Duterte has several ideas how he will be replaced in case he decides to step down before his term ends. He has expressed his preference for Bongbong Marcos, Chiz Escudero, a military junta [but] none of them include the constitutional mode of succession, which is the only legal way of replacing him,” she said in a statement issued from her detention cell in Camp Crame.
“With the federal charter change campaign dead on the water, and a military junta having no avid takers from the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines], this means that the only viable option remaining is to make sure that Marcos is in position to succeed as VP when Duterte decides to step down,” De Lima said.
She added that a Marcos’ victory at the SC is “gradually nearing greater possibility” as Duterte appointees continue replacing retiring justices.
Duterte has repeatedly questioned the leadership skills of Robredo, noting that she does not possess the capability to succeed him in office especially in curbing illegal drugs and corruption in the country.
Duterte also said the Philippines would be better off with a dictator like Ferdinand Marcos.
Robredo defeated the former senator in the vice presidential race in 2016, a victory that Marcos claims was marred by “massive cheating.” /je
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.