Vice President Leni G. Robredo must come clean about the alleged ouster plot against President Duterte, dubbed the “LeniLeaks” conspiracy, and rein in supporters to respect his six-year constitutional mandate.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar gave this “unsolicited advice” to Robredo to put an end to reports about the supposed movement brewed by her supporters to discredit and eventually overthrow the duly-elected President.
“My unsolicited advice would be to answer those mga paratang na iyan, mga accusation na iyan na sila nga iyan,” Andanar said in a radio interview.
“Para matapos na iyong isyu na iyan, sagutin na lang nila kung sila ba iyan o hindi, at patunayan nila kung sila ba iyan o hindi,” Andanar added.
Malacañang said that the so-called LeniLeaks conspiracy against the President is now under investigation by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
The sinister plot, uncovered by two bloggers Sass Rogando and Thinking Pinoy from an alleged string of email exchanges among Robredo’s supporters, was expected to be raised in the Cabinet meeting in Malacañang yesterday afternoon.
Andanar said they intend verify the document and determine the accountability of the people involved. He said multinational technology company Yahoo! and the two bloggers have expressed willingness to cooperate with the probe.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday downplayed the move to oust Duterte.
“They are just making noise,” Aguirre said in a press briefing, referring to supporters of Robredo from the Global Filipino Diaspora Council, which reportedly include billionaire philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister, former Commission on Filipino Overseas chairperson Imelda “Mely” Nicolas.
Aguirre said “she (Lewis) is calling for the Vice President to become President. She is calling for the resignation of the President. She is a dreamer. There are only few who are making a noise although they have money.”
“As long as they do not violate the law, there is nothing wrong with it, nothing wrong to dream,” he said.
Aguirre said “there is nothing illegal if they conspire to call for the resignation of the President.”
“But it is a different thing if they conspire to overthrow the duly constituted authorities,” he stressed.
A member of the Liberal Party yesterday called LeniLeaks a mere exercise of constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of expression.”
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman of Albay sees nothing wrong with the expression of “honest opinion” in Internet correspondence allegedly emanating from the office of Robredo, no matter how critical the statements were to Duterte and the way he has been running government.
Akbayan Rep. Tom Villarin chided Duterte allies for overreacting to the posts, saying that the so-called LeniLeaks is an indication of “how twisted and paranoid the demigods under the Duterte” government have become.
“A plain reading of the “suspected” email conversations cited by Malacañang does not manifest a design to destabilize the government or oust President Duterte,” said Lagman.
He said that the emails were clearly part of the authors exercise of freedom of expression and “are protected by the bill of Rights as an essential component of democratic space.”
Plots to oust Duterte will only succeed in the dreams of those who are planning them, Sen. Richard J. Gordon said yesterday.
“I don’t see how the President can be ousted. He is too popular,” said Gordon in a press briefing after the flag-raising in Camp Crame, Quezon City where he was the guest speaker.
He said any attempt to oust the President is not good for the country, with the economy suffering the brunt of another political upheaval. “Why you should oust him? That is a snake bite of a toxic level that is a nuclear bomb,” said Gordon. (Genalyn D. Kabiling, Rey G. Panaligan, Ben R. Rosario, and Aaron B. Recuenco)