THOUSANDS trooped to Rizal Park on Sunday afternoon to demand the resignation or impeachment of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo, with some of President Rodrigo Duterte’s most die-hard supporters taking turns bashing Robredo for supposedly ruining the country’s reputation before the international community.
The “Palit-Bise” (“Replace the Vice President”) rally tagged Robredo a ‘traitor” and a “shame” over her video remarks criticizing the President’s anti-drug war in a side meeting of a United Nations anti-narcotics conference last month.
Robredo, who left the Cabinet last December over differences with the President, criticized the administration for widespread killings and the deaths and arrests of families of drug suspects who had refused to turn themselves in to authorities.
Pro-Duterte blogger RJ Nieto warned the rallyists Robredo’s impeachment could be blocked by her powerful allies, and urged the President’s supporters to drum up public support.
“Of course, Vice President Robredo has all the gall and will not resign. She sees herself so beautiful. The other way is impeachment, and an impeachment complaint needs at least 100 signatures for it to be directly sent to the Senate for trial. PDP-Laban has more than 100 members of the House, so her impeachment [in the House]is certain. But our foes who have a lot of money control the international media,” Nieto claimed.
PDP Laban is the ruling party led by President Duterte.
“In the event that Leni is impeached, these international media will make Duterte look like a dictator. Impeachment is delicate so we have to make it clear that the people want to impeach Leni,” Nieto said.
Duterte has refused to throw his support behind the Palit Bise rally and had assured Robredo that he did not want her impeached.
A Robredo spokesman, lawyer Ibarra Gutierrez, called on the President’s supporters to appeal to the President, not the vice president.
“Its clear that during their last encounter, the President and the vice president are focused on doing their jobs and they respect each other’s mandate,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“The supporters of the President who don’t share his sentiments should explain themselves to the President instead,” Gutierrez added.