MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo isn’t convinced that there are destabilization moves being carried out by critics of President Rodrigo Duterte that would justify the chief executive’s establishment of a revolutionary government.
On Tuesday, during an event at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City, Robredo was asked by reporters to comment on Duterte’s threat to declare a revolutionary government if the destabilization moves against his administration would turn into chaos.
She replied: “Ano ang basehan [What is the basis]?”
When the media told her that the basis was the alleged destabilization move, the Vice President again asked, “Pero ano nga iyong basehan?…Anong basehan ng paratang [But what is the basis? What is the basis of the accusation]?
She added that while it was easy to accuse someone of plotting against the President and his administration, the basis of such accusation must also be established.
“Kasi madali lang magparatang, pero ano iyong basehan ng paratang?” said Robredo.
Last week, Durerte told his critics that “just like your heroine, President Corqazon Aquino,” he would declare a revolutionary government if their alleged destabilization moves result in disorder and chaos, and they were “about to take over the nation” and install a new government.
“I will arrest all of you and we can go to a full-scale war against the Reds,” the President added.
Earlier this month, Duterte also assailed leftist leaders and the Liberal Party for allegedly working together to oust him from the presidency.
“But what is really very clear is ‘yong Left, pati — ang kaalyado ng Left is, ng mga Bayan (Bagong Alyansang Makabayan) is the…mga…‘yong mga dilaw. Gusto nila ako paalisin dito sa Malacañang,” he said on October 4.
But on Tuesday, October 17, Robredo said destabilization claims could just have stemmed from worries and did not have a real basis. She added that irresponsible claims could only cause divisiveness among Filipinos instead of unity to address the country’s many problems.
“Baka naman…parang nag-aalala lang tayo na maraming mga sinasabing walang basehan, irresponsible na pagsabi, na imbes na…nagkakaisa tayong mga Pilipino na sugpuin iyong napakarami nating mga problema, lalong nag-aaway-away, dahil sa mga paratang na walang basehan,” she said.
On the same day, Armed Forces of the Philippines spokesperson Major General Restituto Padilla denied knowing any destabilization plan against Duterte and his administration.
But presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella took up the cudgels for the chief executive and said that, “You know, the President has his own sources.”
“He has his own sources, internal sources which may not be directly available to others. And so, as he speaks, he stands on his own personally considered evidence,” added Abella.
Padilla agreed and said the chief executive could have sourced his information from other agencies and entities.
“Well, the truth is we only provide some part of what we monitor from our intelligence side. There are other agencies that monitor other parts of our archipelago, as well as other external stations,” Padilla said.
“The information that goes to the President is all encompassing, as mentioned by Secretary Abella. And we don’t have a hand in the information that the President may initially receive,” he added.