Robredo behind Duterte impeach move – Alvarez

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Vice President Leni Robredo is “definitely” behind the first impeachment complaint filed against President Rodrigo Duterte.

In an interview with GMA 7’s Unang Hirit on Friday, March 17, Alvarez cited the following as basis for his claim that the Vice President is plotting against Duterte:

Maliwanag na maliwanag po. Nakita naman natin na kahit sa United Nations ay nagpadala pa siya ng tape, na sinasabi niya na yung mga reklamo dito sa Pilipinas daw. At sa tingin ko, talagang walang basehan at ito ay nagmamadali lamang dahil malamang natatakot siya na kapag binilang ‘yung resulta noong eleksyon ay talagang hindi aabot, dahil alam naman niya na hindi totoong talagang nanalo siya,” said Alvarez.

(It’s very clear. We saw that she sent a video even to the United Nations, citing her complaints about the Philippines. And I think this does not have basis because she is probably scared that when the votes during the elections are recounted, she knows she really did not win.) 

Asked to clarify if Robredo had a “direct hand” in the impeachment complaint, Alvarez said: “Ay, definitely yes. Sino pa ang magbe-benefit diyan? (Definitely yes. Who else will benefit from it?)” 

Not us

Robredo spokesperson Georgina Hernandez denied the Vice President had anything to do with the impeachment complaint. 

"Tungkol po doon sa paratang kay VP Leni, alam naman po ni VP Leni at alam ng karamihan wala itong katotohanan. Mismo po iyong nagfile ng impeachment, mismong si Magdalo Party-list Rep Gary Alejano, ang nagsabi na tanging ang Magdalo group lamang ang nasa likod ng impeachment na ito at malinaw na sinasabi niyang walang kinalaman si VP Leni dito sa inihaing impeachment," Hernandez told GMA 7's Unang Hirit.

(Regarding the accusations against VP Leni, VP Leni and the public know that this is false. Even Magdalo Party-list Rep Gary Alejano said it was only the Magdalo group behind this impeachment and he clearly said VP Leni has nothing to do with it.)

She added that Robredo has not seen the impeachment complaint yet.

Robredo and the Liberal Party to which she belongs have repeatedly denied any plot to unseat the President. LP president Senator Francis Pangilinan has said that if there was anyone destabilizing the government, it's the Duterte appointees who have been linked to corruption and abuse. 

The LP has just been booted out of key Senate posts, prompting it to leave the ruling coalition. The House of Representatives which Alvarez heads has more than 200 lawmakers committed to Duterte. (READ: #AnimatED: The real threat called Alternative Facts)

On Thursday, March 16, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano filed the first impeachment complaint against Duterte. (READ: Duterte impeachment complaint 'a fight for all Filipinos,' says Alejano)

Alejano, whose party led the botched Oakwood mutiny in 2003, cited in his complaint the bloody war on drugs, Duterte's alleged involvement in the creation of the Davao Death Squad when he was mayor, and his supposed unexplained wealth in the form of bank deposits and undeclared properties, among others. (READ: Highlights: Impeachment complaint vs Duterte

The opposition lawmaker denied that any other group was behind the complaint, including Robredo and the LP. (READ: Alejano denies impeach bid part of destabilization plot

"I would like to state, this is solely the decision of the Magdalo. There's no other group behind this," said Alejano. (READ: Gary Alejano, mutineer and ex-Marine, leads impeach bid vs Duterte)

"Even the Liberal Party that they (Duterte's allies) have been demonizing for so long are not part of this activity. The Vice President whom they have been hating so far is not aware of this. Even media are not aware of this! So it is my responsibility to inform concerned stakeholders about this complaint," he added. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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