Duterte denies hand in impeachment of Robredo; VP ramps up criticism

Claudine Rigal
Mars 20, 2017

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte won't try to oust Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo, who has been criticized by his allies for "maligning" the government before the worldwide community over the administration's bloody anti-drug war.

"You know, Leni thinks I am behind the Naga leaks". But the president repeated several times that he is sure that I am not part of any destabilisation plot.

The speaker said the vice president might have betrayed public trust in her video message to the United Nations that destroyed the image of the country before the worldwide community. "I'd rather that the criminals, however (in the) thousands or billions they are, they should be the first to go".

Robredo's video message, posted by the DRCNet Foundation on YouTube last March 13, was played at the "Human Rights Challenge: Responding to Extrajudicial Killings in the Drug War", a side session for the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs annual meeting on March 16 at the Vienna International Center.

"I have not heard what Speaker Alvarez said".

In a separate interview, Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez called on the public to ignore Alvarez's remark, which she branded as irresponsible.

"That statement came from stories that were conveyed to our office".

"We are now looking at some very grim statistics: since July a year ago, more than 7,000 people have been killed in summary executions", Robredo said.

Hernandez said: "There is nothing in the video that shows any sort of action as all of the statements on the video are based on facts coming from first-hand accounts of families, urban poor families who sought refuge by visiting personally the Office of the Vice President to share their experiences, as regards the various operations happening in relation to the government's war on drugs". Robredo is Duterte's constitutional successor.

"The evaluation of the possible grounds for impeachment and the decision to file the complaint are the prerogative of the House of Representatives", Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella said Saturday night. But that was long ago.

Robredo also said police were detaining innocent people in a scheme known as "exchange heads".

The super majority coalition in the House is expected to throw out Alejano's complaint, but the coalition has the numbers to impeach Robredo.

Human rights groups claim many other drug-related deaths were state-sponsored - extralegal executions committed by the police - adding that Mr. Duterte could be liable for crimes against humanity before the ICC.

"I believe that we, lawmakers, could better spend our time right now crafting reform laws that would help President Duterte achieve his administration's goal of sustaining the growth momentum, reducing poverty and transforming our country into an upper middle-income economy by the time his term ends in 2022", Villafuerte said.

The erstwhile ruling Liberal Party said on Saturday that accusations linking Robredo to supposed efforts to undermine the Duterte administration were "baseless, orchestrated lies" that could harm the country.

Other reports by CampDesrEcrues

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