Palace clears Robredo in supposed plot to oust Duterte

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 25 2018 04:24 PM | Updated as of Sep 25 2018 04:31 PM

MANILA - While the Armed Forces has tagged the Liberal Party as among the groups allegedly plotting to oust President Rodrigo Duterte, the opposition party’s titular head, Vice President Leni Robredo, does not seem to be part of it, the Palace said Tuesday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made this statement after the vice president described the military’s allegation as “baseless” and "laughable if they were not so dangerous.”

“As far as VP Leni is concerned, that’s a fair statement, because as far I know, she was not among those specifically named to be part of the conspiracy,” Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

“She is after all the second highest elected official. She took an oath to support the Constitution and she should not and she’s expected not to support any unconstitutional means to remove the President.”

In a statement, Robredo said the allegations against her party, “particularly when they come from high ranking military officials, undermine not just the opposition but also our democracy. They politicize the AFP, subvert Constitutional protections, and weaken a crucial mechanism for ensuring public accountability.”

The vice-president also said the statement of the military is supposed to discredit the opposition.

“For while the claims themselves are absolutely ridiculous, the attempt to delegitimize various opposition groups and personalities by linking them to an alleged extra-constitutional “plot” is alarming,” she said.

Brig. Gen. Antonio Parlade, AFP deputy chief of staff for operations, claimed that opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas almost got involved in the plan but backed out after realizing that communists were behind the move.

Parlade alleged that communist leaders Rey Casambre and Satur Ocampo are allegedly leading the coalition.

The Liberal Party, whose leaders are part of Tindig Pilipinas, earlier denied any hand in alleged ouster plots against Duterte. Magdalo's Senator Trillanes and Rep. Gary Alejano have made the same denial.

Roque has said efforts to oust the President will not succeed as the President continues to enjoy the mandate of the people, as reflected in the latest survey showing majority support for his war on drugs.

The Communist Party of the Philippines, for its part, said the accusation is a "fictional plot which clearly aims to set the stage for applying increasingly draconian measures against the Filipino people."