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Robredo camp: Talk of impeachment irresponsible, speculative

Vice President Leni Robredo is seen in this January 2017 photo released by her office. OVP

MANILA, Philippines — The spokesperson of Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday labeled the plan of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez to file an impeachment complaint against her as “irresponsible” and “speculative.”

Speaking to ANC, Georgina Hernandez, the spokesperson of Robredo, said that the speaker is making statements without sufficient basis meant to condition the minds of the public.

“We think that the statement of Speaker Alvarez is utterly irresponsible as he himself mentioned that he is still looking into the matter and he will still have to consult his legal team and if that is the case, he is making such public statements without sufficient basis and it's purely speculation really, what he is trying to share to the public which is quite irresponsible for a public servant of his stature especially,” she said.

“As to the plan or the objective of the house speaker, we really could not tell at this point but we see it purely as conditioning the minds of the public and also really trying to bring the credibility of the vice president down.”

Hernandez said that the statement of the speaker was just an empty threat that should not be taken seriously.

On Friday, Alvarez said that he was studying the possibility of filing an impeachment charge against Robredo for betrayal of public trust for sending a video message to a United Nations forum on illegal drugs.

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Amid international reports on abuses in the administration's war on drugs, Alvarez said that Robredo's message destroyed the reputation of the Philippine before the eyes of the international community.

Hernandez said that there was nothing in the video that would constitute betrayal of public trust, noting that everything Robredo said was based testimonies from urban families who experienced the brutality of the government’s war on drugs.

“All of the statements in the video were based on facts coming from first-hand accounts of families, urban poor families who sought refuge by visiting personally the Office of the Vice President to share their experiences as regard to the various operations happening in relation to the government's war on drugs,” she told the television station.

Hernandez also clarified that the release of the video was beyond their control, saying that it was the organizers of the forum who decided on the sharing and posting of the message online.

“Before the end of February, we were able to send the said video message to the organizers and the decision as to when it will be shared and posted online depended solely on the schedule of the conference which was beyond our control,” she clarified.

She also noted that even Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano cleared Robredo of any involvement in his move to have President Rodrigo Duterte impeached at the House of Representatives. Duterte himself refused to link Robredo to supposed destabilization plot to oust him.

Hernandez also doused speculation that Robredo was plotting to kick Duterte from power, so she could assume the presidency.

“There is no such plan and we are not looking into such possibility,” she said.

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