MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo will have to step up and assume the presidency in case President Rodrigo Duterte makes good his threat to declare a revolutionary war, her counsel in an election protest said Friday.
“Magiging Presidente si Vice President Leni Robredo of a duly constituted government kasi pag siya ay gumawa ng nasabing deklarasyon, ang ibig sabihin ay he ceases to be the President of a duly constituted government,” said election lawyer and Otso Diretso senatorial bet Romulo Macalintal.
(Vice President Leni Robredo will be the president of a duly constituted government because if he makes such declaration, that means he ceases to be the President of a duly constituted government.)
Macalintal and other opposition bets campaigning with the Vice President in Bohol Friday hit the statements made by President Duterte in Palawan Thursday night.
Macalintal, who is Robredo's lawyer in an ongoing electoral protest, also said Duterte's statements on revolutionary war and the possible suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus are inconsistent.
“Kasi pag revolutionary government ka ay talagang wala na 'yung privilege of the writ of habeas corpus,” Macalintal added.
(If you're a revolutionary government, there really is no privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.)
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano meantime called on the military to remain loyal to the Constitution.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno also reminded the President that he is still under the law but the opposition is ready to face any possibility such as the suspension of the writ and possible arrests.
“Tina-traydor niya ang Saligang Batas. Tina-traydor ang taumbayan, ang payo ko lang siguro sa kanya ay wag naman syang pikon, wag masyadong mainit ang ulo, “chel" lang siya,” Diokno said, using his nickname to mean "chill."
(He is betraying the Constitution, betraying the people. My advice is for him not to be quick-tempered, he should be "Chel.")
The opposition slate pointed out that the statements of the President are possibly an offshoot of various issues thrown against him such as questions on the wealth of his family as well as their supposed involvement in the illegal drug trade, especially presidential son Paolo Duterte.
“Totoo ba na may tattoo si Pulong sa likod? Hanggang ngayon hindi niya pinapakita. China-challenge ko si Polong, ilabas niya ang likod niya,” Alejano said.
(Does Pulong really have a tattoo on his back? Until now, he is not showing it. I challenge Pulong, show us your back.)
President Duterte on Thursday denied that his eldest son is involved in the illegal drug trade, calling the allegation "propaganda that has been repeated all the time."