In this file photo, former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte attends the Senate hearing into the P6.4 billion shabu-shipment.
The STAR/Krizjohn Rosales
Robredo: Release of ‘Oust Duterte Movement’ list irresponsible
Rosette Adel ( - December 9, 2018 - 5:33pm

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 6:49 p.m.) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday slammed the temporary publication of a supposed list of groups and individuals allegedly plotting against the Duterte administration.

In a statement, Robredo laughed off the list but called the move to post it online irresponsible.

“Napaka-irresponsible—napaka-irresponsible na mag-post ng isang bagay na una, wala namang basehan. Pangalawa, hindi ko alam kung alam niya kung saan iyon nanggaling, kasi obviously, iyong gumawa noon, hindi man lang nag-aksaya ng panahon para mag-research,” Robredo said on her weekly radio show, BISERbisyong Leni.

(It’s very irresponsible –it’s very irresponsible to post something that first, has no basis. Second, I do not know where they got that information because, obviously, the one who made that up, did not even bother to do research).

Robredo was reacting to the social media post of President Rodrigo Duterte’s  eldest son, former Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, who posted screenshots of an Excel file that allegedly showed an “Anti Administration Group” plotting an “Oust Duterte Movement.”

Paolo Duterte's list

The list, which was posted without supporting evidence, tagged Robredo as the supposed leader of a "United Opposition" allegedly working with Leftist groups and "mutant/cause-oriented groups", "Jim 'Ducky' Paredes" as well as Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corp. Director Carmen Pedrosa.

Pedrosa is a columnist for The STAR and has written in support of the Duterte administration. She was also critical of the administration of President Benigno Aquino III.

Robredo denied the accusation saying she does not know majority of the individuals and groups included in the list that included members of the Liberal Party, civil society groups, members of the press, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, leftist Party-lists, and even private companies.

The list also identified places where Robredo supposedly hold meetings for the United Opposition.

The venues mentioned are the following:

  • Maryhill School of Theology in New Manila Quezon City

  • Club Filipino

  • Alfredo’s Restaurant

  • Annabelle’s Restaurant

  • UP Hotel

  • Sulu Hotel

  • Pandesalan

  • Rembrandt Hotel

"Sinasabi doon na nag-uusap-usap kami ng mga nakalista doon para patalsikin sa puwesto ang ating Pangulo, nagde-destabilize. Tinitingnan ko iyong mga kasama kong pangalan doon, parang karamihan doon hindi ko kilala. Ang kilala ko lang doon si Jollibee," the vice-president said.

(The supposed list claims the people in the list are talking about ousting our president, about destabilization. I looked at the other names on the list, and I think I don't  know most of them. The only one on the list I know is Jollibee)

“Sana nalaman niya na hindi naman ako pumupunta sa mga lugar na iyon, at iyong mga nakalista hindi ko naman kilala… Nakakalungkot na public official ganoon ka-iresponsable,” she said.

(I hope he knows I don’t go to those places, I don’t know the people in the list… I’m saddened that a public official was irresponsible.)

Duterte resigned as vice mayor of Davao City in December 2017. "There are recent unfortunate events in my life that are closely tied to my failed first marriage. These, among others, include the maligning of my reputation in the recent name dropping incident in the Bureau of Customs smuggling case and very public squabble with my daughter," Duterte said in his resignation letter.

He is running for a seat at the House of Representatives in the May 2019 elections.

Other figures named

Aside from Robredo, the supposed list also named former Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Associate Justice Marvic Leonen, detained Sen. Leila De Lima, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, and former Sen. Francisco Tatad.

Several members of the Aquino Cabinet were also named in the list, including former Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, former Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima, former Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, and former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.

Also mentioned in the list were Bishop Broderick Pabillo, Bishop Leo Drona, Bishop Antonio Tobias, Bishop Deogracias Iñiguez and Bishop Pablo David.

Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, who is also in the list, died in April 2016 while the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines does not have a certain "Bishop Arturo Santos," an alleged destabilization plotter, on its roster.

The list also mentioned Jollibee Food Corp. DOLE Philippines, PLDT, Philsaga Mining Corp., General Tuna Corp., and Sumi Philipines Wiring System.

Journalists Maria Ressa, Ellen Tordesillas, and Ed Lingao were also included in the roster of the supposed destabilization movement.

In a statement Sunday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines pointed out the inclusion of journalists in the supposed list.

"Given the worsening safety situation for journalists in the country, the former vice mayor has put Maria, Ellen and Ed – all of whom have already been recipients of threats recently – in even more danger by sharing this fake document, given how his family continues to enjoy a level of popularity that, in some supporters, can be described as rabid," the group said.

It also pointed out that the list is clearly spurious. "The dead giveaway is the inclusion of the late Archbishop Julio Xavier Labayen, who died on April 27, 2016, more than a month before President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office and who could not, therefore, have been in on any supposed ouster plot even if one does exist," NUJP said.

Former Vice Mayor Duterte has already taken down the post.

On Saturday, Hontiveros also took to Twitter to criticize the release of the list and questioned why even the country’s leading fastfood chain was included in the roster.

“Pati ba naman si Jollibee kasama sa pinagbibintangang destabilizer? Sino’ng sunod, si Ronald McDonald?” Hontiveros tweeted.


'Destablization plots'

In October, the Armed Forces of the Philippines claimed a "Red October" plot to destabilize the government. The plot never materialized and colleges and universities named by the AFP denied their campuses were being used for communist recruitment.

The Duterte administration has repeatedly hinted at or made outright claims that there are "destabilization plots" against the government. Events and incidents that tend to cast a bad light on the government, like the death of Kian delos Santos at the hands of three Caloocan City police officers in August 2017, are sometimes blamed on these plots. 

In June 2017, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II hinted without evidence that members of the political opposition were linked to the siege of Marawi City by Islamic State-inspired terrorists. A photograph he hinted was proof of an opposition meeting in Marawi was actually taken in the Visayas in 2015.

In January 2017, the Presidential Communications Operations Office claimed there would be an investigation into supposedly leaked emails of supposed supporters of Vice President Robredo to discredit the Duterte administration.

"It has really become a national issue. I said even before it becomes a national issue, as one of the president’s men, I am concerned about this. I need to know about the veracity of the reports," Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who also claimed sabotage in a series of errors by state-run Philippine News Agency in September of that year, said then.

The supposed plots have since been quietly forgotten.

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