Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday assured Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo that there was no plot to steal the vice presidency from her.
In an interview following the groundbreaking ceremony for the planned Bicol International Airport in Legazpi City, the President said Robredo, who is from Bicol, would keep her post.
“I will assure Leni and the rest of the Bicol region that you will have her until the very end of her term,” Duterte told reporters. “There is no such thing as removing of a vice president,” he added.
The President issued the statement when asked about Robredo’s claim that there was a plot to steal her position following her resignation as housing chief last Monday.
The former Camarines Sur representative is facing an electoral protest lodged by former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., whom she defeated in the May elections with a margin of 263,473 votes.
Robredo claimed her resignation from the Cabinet was due to the Executive branch’s apparent lack of support for housing initiatives and the President’s order that she stop attending Cabinet meetings.
Robredo as well as the Palace officials also noted that she and Duterte have opposing views on several issues, including the hero’s burial for Marcos’ father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
Duterte made the statement a day after accusing the “Yellows,” or allies of the previous Aquino administration led by the Liberal Party, of plotting to oust him.
LP denies plot
The Liberal Party on Thursday denied it was planning to oust President Duterte.
“It’s not true. There’s no such plot and you know, I don’t know where the President gets his information, but we deny that we are plotting,” said Senate President Pro-Tempore Franklin Drilon, a party leader.
Drilon said the party was just stating its positions on various issues, some of which were opposed to the President’s positions, like the burial of former president Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“So these are views that we expressed as a party and they have nothing to do with any plan allegedly to oust the president. We deny that categorically,” Drilon said.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, acting Liberal Party president, also dismissed the allegation, noting that many party members have jumped ship to parties allied with Malacañang.
“Being critical of the burial of Marcos in the Libingan or being critical of the spate of extrajudicial killings does not mean we want Duterte ousted,” Pangilinan said.
Still, Liberal senators have no plans of leaving the majority bloc in the chamber, led by the Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipno-Lakas ng Bayan.