By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo seemed to dismiss the controversy about the alleged leaked emails posted online that seemed to show she is part of a well-orchestrated plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a late afternoon speech at the Ateneo Student Leaders’ Assembly Homecoming on Sunday, January 8, Robredo said, “Most of the things thrown at me are purely ridiculous.”
“Papatulan ko ba iyon lahat? (Shall I address all these) when there is a goal I have to reach: a mandate I have to perform?”
There was no attempt on her to explain the leaked emails. “As long as you focus yourself in your goal, alam mo in your heart that you won’t lose sight of what you believe in, okay na iyon,” she said.
Before Robredo’s speech, the Office of the Vice President was tightlipped about the so-called #LeniLeaks that emerged over the weekend.
On its Facebook page, blogger “The Thinking Pinoy” shared the leaked emails of the members of a Yahoo! group that called themselves as Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC).
“The only way to fight this evil plot to unseat VP Leni is to ask Duterte to resign. After all, he promised to resign in six months if he has not solved the drug epidemic in the Philippines,” the email read. “He asked for an extension of another six months. Extension denied! Join Duterte Resign Movement.”
Another leaked email said: “This plan is going even better than I expected. We, on our part outside the Philippines are doing our part in holding rallies everywhere.”
Allegations of the ouster plot on Duterte caused a social media firestorm with the trending hashtag #LeniLeaks.
Netizens scored Robredo’s camp for keeping mum about the issue, but the OVP maintained its silence on the leaked emails even amid calls to shed light on #LeniLeaks.
Robredo also did not categorically address the supposed leaked emails when interviewed by local media in Iloilo on Saturday.
But Robredo, who resigned from the Cabinet as chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, disputed allegations anew that she is involved in any ouster plot against Duterte.
“This oust Duterte [movement], I’m sure that I’m not part of it if there is such plan,” the vice president said.
“I believe that it would not be good for the country when we carry out another oust the president movement.”
The former housing chief reiterated that she did not join any protest rallies calling for Duterte’s removal from office.
Robredo reiterated the president was misinformed.
“Before I don’t know what the reason, but when the president was interviewed last Christmas, he said that I was a part of rallies to oust him. That is not true, I did not join any rally,” she said.
On November 25 and 30 last year, Robredo recalled that she had been invited to join anti-Marcos burial rallies, but she deliberately did not take part on the protest actions “in deference to the president” because she was a member of the Cabinet.
She sought to clarify anew that her criticisms of the president such as that against extrajudicial killings in the country are not tantamount to calls for his removal from office.
“For me, the intention of my criticism is for our president to listen to us on issues we feel strongly about, like extrajudicial killings. But my criticisms are not tantamount for his ouster.”
Assistant presidential communications secretary Ana Marie Banaag said the Palace will respect the statement of the vice president.
Banaag said it was up to Robredo to convince the people that she has no involvement in the alleged plot to oust Duterte. (With a report from Genalyn Kabiling)
Tags: #LeniLeaks, Global Filipino Diaspora Council, leaked emails, Leni Robredo, Manila Bulletin, Office of the Vice President, Oust Duterte, Robredo: No need for me to explain #LeniLeaks, Rodrigo Duterte