THE camp of Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has dismissed allegations that she played a hand in the first impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a television interview, Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said that “VP Leni and the public know that this is not true.”
This response comes after House of Representatives Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez claimed that Robredo is “definitely” behind the case that was filed on Thursday, March 16.
Alvarez remarked that Robredo had a “direct hand” in the impeachment complaint, saying, “Definitely yes. Who else would benefit?”
Representative Gary Alejano — who filed the said impeachment complaint against the president — denied that Robredo was involved in the case, describing Alvarez’ allegations as “preposterous.”
“Even Magdalo Party-list Rep Gary Alejano himself said it was only the Magdalo group behind this impeachment and he clearly said VP Leni has nothing to do with it,” Hernandez added.
Alejano’s complaint puts Duterte’s alleged links to the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS), the killings in his war against illegal drugs, and his alleged undeclared wealth worth nearly P2.2 million into question.
When asked about the basis of his accusations, Alvarez cited Robredo’s latest video message to the United Nations (UN) condemning the present administration’s war against illegal drugs.
“It was very clear. We can see that she even sent a tape to the United Nations regarding her complaints here in the Philippines,” the House speaker said.
Alvarez warned that Robredo’s actions may amount to “betrayal of public trust,” which could be used as grounds for filing an impeachment case.
Malacañang said that the UN video message lambasting the government’s war on drugs and the filing of an impeachment complaint against Duterte “seems too neat to be written off as mere coincidence.”
“If it is not her personal intent, she may have played into the hands of those who wish to use her as a political animal. Either way, it is a pathetic state of affairs for her,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement on Friday, March 17.
In a video message uploaded on Monday, March 13, Robredo pointed out that the thousands of killings and human rights abuses in the Philippine government’s brutal war against illegal drugs had left Filipinos feeling “hopeless” and “helpless.”
“The body count due to the drug-related killings keeps growing,” the vice president said. “We are now looking at some very grim statistics…Our people need nothing less than a safe environment.”
Since Duterte taking office last July, more than 8,000 people have been reportedly killed as a result of the drug war.
“You cannot kill addicts and declare the problem solved… We must all demand greater transparency in the government’s war on drugs because this is a major, publicly-funded campaign,” Robredo remarked.
Citing other human rights abuses in the drug war, Robredo pointed out that people were beaten up for requesting search warrants.
“Some of those who have told us that when there’s crime, they normally go to the police. Now, they don’t know where to turn,” she added.
According to her, poor people have been also “rounded up in places like basketball courts, women separated from men, those with tattoos asked to stand in the corner, their belongings searched.”