Speaking up vs killings not a destabilization move – Robredo
MANILA — Dissent against extrajudicial killings of ordinary people should not be construed as an attempt to destabilize the Duterte administration or a desire to replace President Duterte, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday.
“When we verbalize dissent, it doesn’t mean we want to replace the President. We think removing a President by impeachment or whatever means, we won’t accomplish anything anymore,” she told reporters, breaking her silence on moves in Congress to impeach her.
Robredo met with her supporters from civil society and urban poor groups at the Office of the Vice President headquarters in Quezon City, where she addressed for the first time the impeachment complaint submitted by two Marcos loyalists for the endorsement of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
“Impeachment whether against the President or me would put a halt to the things Congress should focus on. It is going to be very divisive in our country. It won’t be good in the long run,” she said.
She acknowledged brickbats that came her way after she sent a video to a United Nations-affiliated side event giving a stinging rebuke of the government’s war on drugs. In the same video message, she also exposed a “palit-ulo” scheme, in which law enforcers searching for drug suspects would allow a blood exchange with family members or other people connected to them.
“In the past days, it has been hard on us because of the video message, but we never said anything that was not true,” she said.
Asked to comment on President Duterte’s remark asking his allies to “let her be,” Robredo said that would be in the best interest of the nation.
She, however, cautioned the President not to read any ulterior motives in her words of criticism.
“I have always been for working together. Only our dissent is being misinterpreted as destabilization,” she said.
“By working together, it doesn’t mean we agree on everything. But disagreement should not be seen as our desire to replace him,” Robredo said.
“Our expression of dissent doesn’t mean we want to get back at the President. We want to be heard because we feel strongly about certain things, like the killing of ordinary people,” she said.
Robredo also addressed the bitter fighting between her supporters and Duterte’s.
“I think it’s not productive. It wastes a lot of our time, and it encourages a culture of hate among everyone,” she said. SFM/rga
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