President Rodrigo Duterte has shrugged off a supposed ouster plot against him that is allegedly organized by and linked to Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s allies.
In an interview on Tuesday, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said that Duterte, at the sidelines of Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting, had been able to discuss with him, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and Information and Communications Technology Rodolfo Salalima a supposed leaked conversation, now dubbed as “LeniLeaks.”
During their talk, Andanar added, the President had wished his opponents “success” in destabilizing him.
“I wish them all the success,” Duterte told Robredo’s supporters planning to kick him out of office as quoted by Andanar.
The alleged ouster plot came to fore after a blogger posted over the weekend emails that allegedly showed exchanges between some supporters of the Liberal Party such as immigration lawyer Ted Laguatan and certain individuals in the Philippines.
The emails were supposedly posted on the Yahoo! group Global Filipino Diaspora Council, whose members reportedly include Loida Nicolas-Lewis.
Lewis has denied concocting a plan to remove Duterte from Malacañang even as she clarified that her call for Duterte to quit was based on the President’s promise that he would resign if drugs are still rampant six months after his inauguration in June last year.
Esperon has said “Lenileaks” was not on the agenda of the Cabinet meeting on Monday because Duterte and the secretaries had more important matters to discuss.
“We have other more important matters… This should not be the flavor of the day or the month since this is just something that we already know,” Esperon said.
In a news conference, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the “LeniLeaks” issue was not taken up during Monday’s Cabinet meeting.
“No. There was no discussion there and if there was any pull-aside, I was not privy to it,” Abella told reporters. “It was not mentioned at all. Not during the Cabinet meeting.”
But Andanar, in another interview, said he discussed the “LeniLeaks” with the President together with Esperon and Salalima.
“It was discussed in the Cabinet pull-aside. This was when we pulledthe President to one side and we talked to the President privately,” Andanar told ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).