Malacañang on Wednesday denied that President Benigno Aquino 3rd was behind a “legal coup d’etat” reportedly to eliminate the administration’s rivals in the 2016 elections.
In a news conference, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte dismissed congressional candidate Harry Roque Jr.’s claim that Aquino was leading the “legal coup d’etat” and his annointed one–former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd was using the ruling Liberal Party’s (LP) “influence in the courts” to eliminate his main foes in next year’s polls.
The drastic move supposedly targets Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and a possible presidential contender, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“The President has never condoned any black propaganda, does not condone its doing; in fact, has been a victim of it many times himself, as such hindi po ‘yan gagawa ng ganyan [he would not do such thing],” Valte told reporters.
“Hindi po ‘yan polisiya, hindi po ‘yan pagkatao ng Pangulong Aquino… Lagi hong patas lumaban ang Pangulong Aquino. Kahit hindi ho patas ang laban sa kanya, lagi hong patas lumaban ang Pangulong Aquino [That is not policy, that is not in the President’s character… The President always fights fairly. Even if he is given an unfair fight, he still fights fairly],” she said.
Roque, in a statement on Tuesday, said the public should be vigilant and closely watch allies of the administration in the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Supreme Court.
“If we lower our guard, their decisions will not be guided by the rule of law, but by the nation’s current rulers,” he added, referring to the electoral tribunal, the Comelec and the High Court.
Roque said there were “rumblings” in the legal community about Roxas tapping Senate President Franklin Drilon and lawyers associated with “The Firm” to ensure that Poe, an independent candidate, would be disqualified from the presidential race on questions of residency and citizenship.
“The Firm” refers to the CVC Law firm founded by Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, one of whose law partners, Avelino Cruz, was a staunch Roxas ally and was part of President Aquino’s legal team in 2010.