Stealing the vice presidency

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ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

ANTONIO P. CONTRERAS

LENI Robredo is making a scene. She is accusing the President and Bongbong Marcos of plotting to steal the vice presidency from her.

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She is saying this after she was constructively dismissed from the Cabinet. She resigned after being told
through text, upon instructions of the President, to desist from attending Cabinet meetings.

There are several angles being floated around on the real reason of her departure from the Cabinet.

There are those who say she was dismissed for being a non-performer. Others point out the irreconcilable differences that she had with the President and her very vocal opposition to his stand on many issues, including the burial of Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, the war on drugs, the President’s attack on Senator Leila de Lima, and the planned restoration of the death penalty.

Yet, there are also those who floated the intrigue that she was leaking confidential information discussed during Cabinet meetings, and that she refused to cooperate in the investigation of the Yolanda housing anomalies.
But the most eyebrow-raising is her allegation that there are attempts to steal the vice presidency from her.

She is presenting herself as being the object of political harassment, a target of a sinister plot to oust her as Vice President and replace her with Bongbong Marcos. Her supporters and partymates at the Liberal Party are quick to deploy as a battle cry the hashtag #ProtectLeni and #DefendDemocracy, even as they once again paint the return of the Marcoses to power as the convenient bogeyman.

But it is perhaps important for us to ask Leni Robredo this question: How exactly do you steal the vice presidency?

To allege stealing a position presupposes that it will be through extra-constitutional means.

However, it could never be by a coup, since such usually targets the head of state or government, and not his spare tire. In fact, it is even more plausible for a Vice President from the opposition ranks like Mrs. Robredo, to be the one to plot and steal the presidency, and not the other way around.

The only way Mrs. Robredo can lose her seat is through constitutional means.

She can be unseated through impeachment. However, as of now, there is no ground to impeach her considering that a less than stellar performance at the HUDCC is not an impeachable offense. Her political difference with the President, as long as only expressed but not used to undermine him, does not constitute betrayal of public trust or treason.

She could however lose her seat through an electoral protest.

Bongbong Marcos has filed an electoral protest against her, and the case is now with the Supreme Court, acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, or PET. Marcos has alleged massive electoral fraud during the May 2016 elections, where he claimed to have been a victim of a combination of electronic and conventional forms of cheating.

Marcos alleges that the existence of the illegal fourth server, which was admitted even by Smartmatic, together with traditional methods of pre-shading of ballots that allegedly happened in many areas in the ARMM, may have enabled Mrs. Robredo to steal his votes from him.

Evidence suggests statistically improbable zero-votes for all other candidates except for the Liberal Party tandem of Roxas and Robredo in many areas in the country, particularly in the ARMM. There was also a suspiciously high level of under-votes for vice president, leading one to suspect a more sinister electronic tampering of results.

But all of these are allegations that still need to be proven in a proper proceeding. The camp of Bongbong Marcos has already submitted thousands of pages of evidence to back his allegations, and these have yet to be appreciated by the PET. A recount has not yet been ordered, and when commenced, would take a long time in a proceeding which will be open to all parties, and where Mrs. Robredo’s lawyers would be present.

Thus, it is totally irresponsible for Mrs. Robredo to accuse President Duterte, or his allies, working with Bongbong Marcos, to steal the vice presidency. Raising this amounts to a frontal attack on the PET, as it would impugn the integrity of its members, and the whole process.

The camp of Mrs. Robredo has already floated irresponsible allegations in social media. Several days ago, Robredo partisans already made accusations that Governor Imee Marcos had a meeting with two unidentified Supreme Court justices abroad.

Mrs. Robredo has to be reminded that being unseated through an electoral protest is not stealing. On the contrary, it makes her the thief of a post that is not supposed to be hers.

She has to realize that the best way to defend democracy is to stop undermining it by casting aspersions on democratic institutions and processes, and for her to support the recount. Only a recount would tell us if the vice presidency is rightfully hers, or was indeed stolen, not by Bongbong Marcos, but by her.

antonio.contreras@manilatimes.net

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17 Comments

  1. Dear Mr. Contreras, please stop fomenting hatred against those persons you perceive to be opponents of Duterte. There are so many problems the country is facing, including wide spread poverty, lack of employment, corruption and the weakness of institutions charged with the governance of the country. Your critical thinking and writing skills could be better employed on these issues, together with your suggestions on how to make this country a better place for all. Let everyone have the opportunity to prosper, most especially the weak and down trodden masses, and not just the elites living in their comfortable homes. For a start you could write a piece on “endo” and how this can be tackled effectively so that the workers are not exploited. Thank you.

    • Endo is a practice legalized under the term of Cory, the leader of the Yellow Cult. Mr. Contreras is doing his part to enlighten the public. The issue of he tackled in this column is related to that oppression you were talking about. Unless the truth about the allegation that the LP (the yellow bearers) stole the VP then justice can’t be served. The Yellows are in power next to the President and they are maneuvering to stole next the Presidency.

  2. Wolfgang Struck on

    I am surprised to see that no reader has posted his comment in a matter that is very important at this time. Maybe people are too busy following the De Lima circus or trying to swallow the Espinosa pill. Then there is also the question whether the rally today, Quirino Grandstand Sabado, will be a rally or a ppppfffft.

    Whatever the outcome the article at hand is nicely in line with some other comments written by the same author who is making a name of himself. Very good.

    Wolfgang Struck

  3. vagoneto rieles on

    In his most recent trip to Albay, the President spoke about the issue of the Vice-Presidency as follows… “I will assure Leni and the rest of the Bicol region that you will have her until the very end of her term. There is no such thing as removing a vice president,”
    This statement of President Duterte is a new twist to his usual brass and blunt pronouncements; but still falls short of a ‘firm commitment’ to the promulgation of the electoral tribunal. You could drive a container van through the ‘wiggle room’ in such a statement. On the surface it sounds like he is announcing his support for the Vice-President. Covertly,however, it is a slick and crafty way to elicit a reaction from the other side of the issue…for them to persist and energize their protest against Ms. Robredo’ election…to which he could capitulate and allow to prosper. He actually gets to ‘have his cake and eat it too’.
    Duterte did not bring Bong-Bong Marcos along to China, where he categorically endorsed him; nor did he justify the burial of his father in the LNMB…just for his amusement. Mr. Duterte is a calculating and deliberate man who usually gets what he wants. His overt affinity for the Marcoses has always been out there for all to see. For his part, Bong-Bong Marcos knows that if he wants to be President…not just Vice-President…now is the time to move. He has the support of a sitting President who is not exactly in the ‘pink-of-health’, and who might soon be either impeached or, somehow, ousted anyway; while he, despite the baggage of his parents’ legacy, and the peoples’ perception of dark intentions of his own, is quite healthy and ready.
    Ms. Leni and her party have every reason to be very worried.

  4. Nieves Jacinto Favis on

    Thank you for this article, so well-written!!!! How i wish it could be published repeatedly so every person in our country would not miss reading it!!!!

  5. If the VP position was stolen, it will be decided by the PET. Leni should not be saying it will be stolen from her.

  6. Leodegardo Pruna on

    Leni should shift her focus while in office from suspecting that her position will be stolen from her to finding out what and who really caused the demise of her husband. The recognition given her husband by P-Noy and company were to appease her and cover up whatever misdeeds were carried out to cause his death and she fell into the trap. She can do justice to her husband’s death by unearthing the truth. Of course , dreams and ambitions could spell the difference. God bless the Philippines.

  7. Written so perfectly! May it be done in our national language, too, for the others to understand how Robredo and the rest of them are twisting the truth.
    This twist is synchronous to a recent event. Who would have wanted to silence Jaybee Sebastian? And Jaybee has sought legal means against this person. And yet this persona has the gall to call the President a murderer..

  8. People like Robredo who harbor guilty conscience have a way of conjuring ludicrous scenarios in their minds to rationalize and ease the pain.

  9. Very correct. I think leny is just paranoid. Why would she be paranoid unless she is hiding something.

  10. thanks for this article, Sir. she has indeed been committing brazen irresponsible acts.

    May God bless us all.

  11. Intimidate the SC is what the yellows are doing now. They are using the same fear that they have during the last election that if they’ve ordered the hocus pcos to likewise cheat Digong the entire country might disintegrate so they just settled for the VP a fall back for plan B.

  12. She is worse than a trapo. Before the election, she did not to be veep candidate unless there was an assurance for her to be the winner. It was promised to her that everything will be done to make her veep. Now same outburst, I do not want to be president. she said that she is just uniting the opposition every time she go against the president. Going against the pres is not uniting a group, it is campaigning, letting the people that she is better, and then why go around the country to do “what”? She even complained that whenever the pres leaves the country, she is not being made to be the caretaker, because, she said that she wanted to taste being a pres. HA HA HA, I don’t to be pres but I want to experience it. In the Phil, veeps are just flower vases unless given some sort of something to do. Leni, don’t be a hypocrite.