Breaking her silence on moves to impeach her, Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday that her denunciation of extrajudicial killings in the administration’s drug war should not be construed as an attempt at destabilization or a desire to take over from President Duterte.
“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.
Robredo met with her supporters from civil society and urban poor groups in her office during which she spoke for the first time about the impeachment complaint submitted last week by two Marcos loyalists for the endorsement of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano filed on March 16 an impeachment complaint against Mr. Duterte, citing his bloody campaign against drugs and alleged illegally acquired P2.2 billion in bank accounts.
“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 message at a United Nations-affiliated side event giving a stinging rebuke of the government’s war on drugs and exposing an alleged “palit-ulo” scheme, in which law enforcers searching for drug suspects would allow an exchange with family members or other people connected to them.
“But we never said anything that was not true,” she said.
Asked to comment on Mr. Duterte’s remark asking his allies to “let her be,” Robredo said that would be in the best interest of the nation.
“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.
“We want to be heard because we feel strongly about certain things, like the killing of ordinary people,” she added.
Robredo also spoke about the bitter infighting between her supporters and Duterte’s. “It wastes a lot of our time, and it encourages a culture of hate among everyone,” she said.
By: DJ Yap – Reporter / @deejayapINQ