Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo does not believe that former US ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg has a blueprint to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
Robredo was reacting to an exclusive report ran by The Manila Times that Goldberg’s blueprint aims to stoke adverse public sentiment on Duterte’s unfulfilled campaign promises, withdraw aid from the Philippines while showering its Asean neighbors of US help.
“I don’t believe that there is a blueprint for Oust Duterte plot. Firstly, I had a talk with Ambassador Goldberg in a particular event and when he paid a courtesy call to my office, we did not talk about such blueprint. We just talked about the bilateral relationship of the Philippines and the US,” Robredo said in an interview in Albay.
“There is no blueprint. And I strongly believe that it would be better for the country if we don’t seek his ouster and instead ask the President to hear the criticisms out,” she added.
Duterte and Robredo had a falling out when the former asked the latter to stop attending Cabinet meetings. The order prompted the vice president to quit as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
While Robredo is opposed to some of Duterte’s programs and policies, including the bloody campaign against illegal drugs, the restoration of the death penalty and the lowering of the age of criminal liability from 15 to 9, she believes that ousting Duterte will not be good for the country.
“It is not good for us that we will call for a President’s ouster every time that there is an upheaval because we have been there already,” the vice president stressed.
She dismissed the claims of Duterte’s supporters that the Liberal Party has been using its influence to unseat the President.
“LP has no clout. We are so few that we even joke that we can fit inside a Volkswagen,” Robredo, the interim chairperson of the LP, said.
There are only 35 LP members in the House of Representatives and seven in the Senate.
“The party used to be the ruling party during the time of President [Benigno] Aquino [3rd], but we are so few now. I don’t believe we are powerful and former LP members who transferred to PDP-Laban know that,” she added.
The Vice President also clarified that she does not see Duterte as an enemy.
“We are not foes. We just need a little time,” Robredo said.