Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo on Wednesday, January 4, said she does not believe the existence of a “blueprint” allegedly left by former United States Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg that outlines plans to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
“Ako, hindi ako naniniwala na mayroong ganoon (I do not believe that it exists),” Robredo said in an interview during her visit to Tiwi, Albay.
In its earlier report, The Manila Times, citing a “highly placed source,” said Goldberg supposedly left behind a “blueprint to undermine Duterte.”
According to the report, among the ouster tactics Goldberg allegedly suggested include the support for “Robredo-led opposition groups” and fueling public dissatisfaction with the president.
In a statement, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel said that “[t]hese allegations of a blueprint are false.”
“No such blueprint exists,” Russel stressed.
He also reiterated that the United States’ relationship with the Philippines is “one of our most enduring and important relationships in the Asia-Pacific region.”
“It has been a cornerstone of stability for over 70 years. It is built on shared sacrifices for democracy and human rights and strong people-to-people and societal ties. We continue to focus on our broad relationship with the Philippines, and will work together in the many areas of mutual interest to improve the livelihoods of the Philippine people and uphold our shared democratic values,” Russel added.
Malacañang, meanwhile, downplayed the rumors that the U.S. participated in any destabilization moves against Duterte.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that Duterte has a high trust rating in the country. The Social Weather Stations poll last month shows that Duterte has an ‘excellent’ +72 trust rating.
On the other hand, Robredo clarified that she and Goldberg only talked about the bilateral relationship between the United States and the Philippines.
“Unang una, nagkausap kami ni Ambassador Goldberg noong nasa isang event, pangalawa nag-courtesy call siya sa opisina. Wala kaming pinag-usapan tungkol kay Pangulo [Duterte] (I had a talk with Ambassador Goldberg in a particular event and when he paid a courtesy call to my office but we did not talk about the president),” Robredo said.
She also said that calling for the president’s resignation every time there is an upheaval in the government will do the country no good.
“Paniniwala ko makakabuti sa Pilipinas na instead humingi tayong matanggal ang iyong pangulo, hingiin na lang natin sa pangulo na pakinggan ang ating hinaing (I believe that it would be best for the Philippines that instead of wanting to unseat him, we should ask that he hear us requests),” Robredo added.
Last month, Robredo resigned as the housing secretary after Duterte ordered her to “desist” from attending all Cabinet meetings. Following her resignation, Robredo announced that she will become the “unifying voice” of the opposition.
Duterte accused the ‘yellows’ of plotting to oust him, apparently referring to the Liberal Party, which uses the color as its political symbol. Robredo and the Liberal Party have denied the allegation.