Any plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte will not succeed because the Chief Executive enjoys strong support from the public, Malacañang said on Sunday.
Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Paz Banaag made the statement after bloggers posted leaked e-mails online showing that some supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo are behind efforts to undermine the President.
Banaag said there is no word yet if the leaked emails will be investigated.
“Well, we don’t honestly know so far if this will be investigated but whatever ouster plans or resign…These groups who are asking for the President to resign, we know that at this point malabong mangyari iyan kasi nagtatrabaho ang ating Presidente, malakas ang suporta ng ating mga kababayan sa kanya (that won’t happen because our President is working and he has the support of the public). So I don’t think that would really be something that would go for investigation. Although…we don’t know yet if that will be investigated,” she said in an interview with state-run dzRB on Sunday.
Last week, a Pulse Asia survey showed the President enjoying approval and trust ratings of 83 percent.
Banaag said it is up to Robredo to say if the so-called ‘Lenileaks’ are true or not.
“We will respect whatever the Vice President would claim and it’s up to her if there are photos or emails or leaks that came out” she added.
“Then it’s up for her to convince the public if it is true that she has nothing to do (with the plot) or (if) she is not coordinating with other groups in the US or other personalities in the Philippines about that,” she added.
The hashtag “#lenileaks” has been trending on social media particularly on Twitter, alleging that the Office of the Vice President is part of a well-orchestrated, well-funded campaign to discredit Duterte as well as former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, who is contesting the result of the vice presidential race last year.
Marcos lost to Robredo by only more than 200,000 votes.
However, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. told Palace Communications Secretary Martin Andanar on Saturday night that he (Esperon) wants to look carefully into the matter.
“Seryosong bagay ito kaya gusto kong tignan nang mas malalim pa (This is a serious matter, that is why I want to look into this more deeply)” he said in a phone interview with Andanar during a live Facebook session of “Martin’s Mancave.”
Davao City first district Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles also believes that Congress should look into the alleged plot to oust the President.
“Congress must investigate this immediately,” Nograles told The Manila Times in a text message on Sunday.
The lawmaker added that such plots will fail because of the public’s support to the President.
“Based on the high trust and approval ratings of President Duterte, the Filipino people are solidly behind him. Those who want to topple the President are those who stand to lose their interests in President Duterte’s war against drugs, corruption and crime,” Nograles said.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto 3rd however expressed doubts on the plot against the President.
“I doubt if it’s true,” he said in a text message.
Sotto said if there was such a plot, the Senate would have gotten wind of it.
“I’m sure we will sense tremors in the Senate if ever there were such plans,” he stressed.