Malacañang clears Robredo in supposed Duterte ouster plot

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Tuesday, September 25, cleared Vice President Leni Robredo in the supposed ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Roque was asked about Robredo's denial of any involvement of the political opposition in the alleged plot.

"Well, perhaps, as far as VP Leni is concerned, that's a fair statement, because as far as I know she was not among those specifically named to be part of the conspiracy," Roque said in a media briefing on Tuesday.

Roque said he had not heard the Armed Forces of the Philippines, in particular, name Robredo as part of the so-called conspiracy.

"She is, after all, the second highest elected official. She took an oath to support the Constitution, and she should not, and she's expected not to support, any unconstitutional means to remove the President," Roque added.

Hours before Roque's media briefing, Robredo slammed military officers linking her and the opposition to the supposed Red October ouster plot against Duterte. 

“Baseless allegations that link my involvement in legitimate opposition activities with illegal actions, particularly when they come from high-ranking military officials, undermine not just the opposition but also our democracy," Robredo said.

Duterte himself on Monday, September 24, accused some soldiers of being "in cahoots" with the opposition Liberal Party (LP) to oust him. Robredo chairs the LP. 

While clearing Robredo, Roque, however, asserted intelligence information saying some members of the LP planned to oust Duterte. The President has long claimed there were plots to oust him, once even implicating the US Central Intelligence Agency, but none has taken place. – Rappler.com

Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.

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