Lozano files impeach Robredo raps
By Ted Tuvera and Charlie V. Manalo
Vice President Leni Robredo, the leading opposition figure against President Rodrigo Duterte, is too much in a hurry to replace him, for her to become the president.
Lawyer Oliver Lozano, the perrenial impeachment filer, beat everyone to the draw as he filed the first impeachment complaint against the Vice President.
Speaking before the Filipino community in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, late Sunday night (Manila time), the Chief Executive slammed all his critics who are believed to be behind ouster plots against him including the Vice President, her fellow Liberal Party (LP) detained Sen. Leila de Lima and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV whose chum, fellow ex-mutineer Magdalo partylist Rep. Gary Alejano, filed an impeachment case against Mr. Duterte last week.
“My opponents, you know, they want me (ousted). Leni, she’s in a hurry to become president,” the President said.
Palace officials and other allies have speculated that Robredo may be behind destabilization plots against Mr. Duterte.
Although the Vice President has continuously denied involvement from any destabilization plots, logic and the line of government succession dictate that she will benefit most should Mr. Duterte be ousted as President, either through an impeachment or through yet another yellow people power revolt, such as Edsa 2.
The President’s influential ally, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, over the weekend, said that he and a group of lawyers are studying possible impeachment raps against Robredo following her video message presented before the United Nations (UN) Commission on Narcotic Drugs that openly criticized the administration’s war on illegal drugs.
Saying in an earlier press conference that he is not ordering to impeach Robredo, Mr. Duterte told reporters in an ambush interview in Myanmar that while he shrugs off destabilization efforts at this point, he gave a stern warning against anybody planning to stage an ouster movement.
“Those who choose to fight the government will have the response that they want,” the President strongly said.
“It’s all politics actually. In the matter of going after them, it has not reached that level of violence, destabilization. It’s more for publicity. And for as long as it is really a peaceful exercise of the freedom of speech and freedom of the press, there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s guaranteed under the Constitution,” he said, but added that it would be different if the protesters would be violent.
Trillanes, Alejano a bunch
The President also lashed out at Trillanes and Alejano saying they are a “bunch of cowards” recalling their involvement in two botched coup attempts against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2003 and 2007.
Mr. Duterte laughed off their mutiny style which merely “ransacked a five-star hotel in Makati”.
“Trillanes is a barking dog. He’s just a... you know this guy, he was the one who led a mutiny. Do you remember what he did in Makati? Look at this idiot. He was leading a mutiny and it turned out that he was a coward when policemen came to make him surrender,” the President said which got laughter from the crowd.
“Worse, (Trillanes) stole towels, bed sheets and all eating utensils there at the (Manila) Peninsula. There was not even a single gunshot there,” he added.
Mr. Duterte also compared Trillanes’ stint which called for sympathy on the drug trafficking case of neophyte Senator de Lima who, amid valid charges on her involvement in narcotics trafficking, wants to make her appear as a political prisoner.
“De Lima keeps on saying that she’s a political prisoner. Look, I have not sent any of my (political) foes to jail. Mind you... de Lima, it was the Secretary of Justice herself running, trafficking drugs,” he stressed.
At the same time, University of Santo Tomas professor and political analyst Edmund Tayao, in an interview over dzMM radio, said yesterday that the “yellows” particularly referring to both Robredo and de Lima are trying to gather backing from the international community.
“Gathering support from the international community, just as what the Vice President did through her video presentation and Senator de Lima’s manner of appealing to others is more of a desperate move for the opposition,” Tayao said.
Lozano files impeach rap vs Leni
Perennial impeachment complainant, Lozano again beat everyone to the draw as he filed an impeachment case against Vice President Robredo before the House of Representatives yesterday.
In a seven-page complaint including the cover letter, Lozana alleged Robredo committed Culpable Violation of the Constitution and Betrayal of Public Trust when she addressed the United Nations Forum on Narcotics through a video message allegedly containing lies and made up stories.
“Leni Robredo has committed acts of injustice prejudicial to the nation and public welfare which constitutes violation of the Constitution,” Lozano stated in his complaint.
Lozano cited portions of Robredo’s speech including the portion where she stated, “We are now looking at some very grim statistics: since July last year, more than 7,000 people have been killed in summary executions.”
“This number is false, fake news. Seven thousand was maliciously fabricated by the yellow and lazy editors of rappler.com,” Lozano said in refuting Robredo.
According to Lozano, the 7,000 represents the sum of the 2,555 which the PNP Directorate for Operations reported as those killed in anti-illegal drugs operation from July 1, 2016 to January 24, 2017 and the 4,525 total murder cases in the country.
In her mesage to the UN, Robredo also alleged that “People are told they do not have any right to demand search warrants as they are squatters.”
However, Lozano said “Robredo doesn’t present any iota of evidence for her claim, not even a single instance of the human rights violation she alleges, not even newspaper reports on these, nor does she refer to any report detailing her accusations.”
Robredo also told the UN, that “around 500 cases have been filed at the Commission on Human Right, recommended to the Department of Justice (DoJ) for the filing of cases. So far, seven months into the Administration, no information has been filed.” the Commission of Human Rights has also replied to Robredo’s claim, saying that indeed there are 500 cases filed at the CHR, with some of them done with the investigation and others still undr investigation.
“This is a lie. I was told by insiders there are no such 500 cases. The 500 figure is clearly one pulled out of the air by Robredo’s speech writer,” Lozano said in his complaint.
While the respondent, according to Lozano, is duty-bound to act within the framework of the Constitution, her acts of dishonesty and moral bankruptcy breached the bounds of Fundamental Law. She betrayed the people by shaming the nation with her dishonest message to the United Nation.
“She is the termite of the Government. Her unfaithfulness has extended to the betrayal of the Public trust and culpable Violation of the Constitution,” said Lozano.
“We respectfully request that you endorse the attached Complaint for impeachment against Leni Robredo,” he stressed in the cover letter addressed to Speaker Pantaleon alvarez.
The anti-crime group also on Monday said Robredo committed treason for allegedly making unfounded claims on the government’s war on drugs before the international community.
At a press conference in Manila, an irate Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman Dante Jimenez lashed out at Robredo for claiming in a video sent to the United Nations that more than 7,000 people have been killed in summary executions.
He also took exception to Robredo’s statement on an alleged “palit-ulo” scheme where relatives of a drug suspect will be taken if the person himself cannot be found.
“Madam Vice President, you are presenting to the world that we are a nation that the government does not exist anymore? This a lie,” Jimenez said.
“She is recklessly destroying the image of her own country with unverified charges. In the process, she is also pulling down Filipinos. This is a treacherous act and as an elected public official, this is tantamount to treason,” he added.
VACC earlier announced that that it is considering the possibility of a filing disbarment case against Vice President Leni Robredo amid threats of impeachment raps against her.
Robredo, who is a lawyer, is still under fire following her six-minute video presented before the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Annual Meeting in Vienna where she alleged that Philippine authorities are engaged in the so-called “Palit-Ulo” scheme.
VACC Chairman Dante Jimenez said Robredo committed a “despicable act of treachery” for announcing what he calls “unfounded allegations” before an international conference in Vienna in connection with the alleged “Palit-Ulo” scheme.
VP ready to face impeach raps
With Robredo facing several impeachment threats initially anchored on her controversial video message against government’s drug war, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) yesterday stood firm that Robredo is ready to face any possible charges from her oppositors.
“So far, no case has been filed yet,” said Barry Guitierrez, legal adviser to the OVP.
However, if the foundation would be what Speaker Alvarez stated earlier on the videotaped message on extrajudicial killings, they can contend that “it’s not (a) basis for any kind of impeachment.”
“Telling the truth is not an impeachable offense,” he stressed.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel said if we’re to base on numbers, Robredo would have more chances to be ousted than Duterte.
“We hope that it won’t be just purely numbers here, we should look into the content and the substance,” said Georgina Hernandez, spokeswoman of the OVP.
“It is true that this would be a numbers game in the end. But we’re still optimistic that whatever political affiliations of our elected representatives in the Congress, by the time they decide, principles would still win over,” Guitierrez said.
To track the recent events leading to this impeach talks against Robredo, Alvarez earlier said she should be ousted for her alleged involvement in the filing of an impeachment rap versus Duterte.
TheSpeaker noted her revelation on the alleged “palit-ulo scheme” contained in a video message addressed to the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs equates to “betrayal of public trust.”
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said if we are to base it on numbers, Robredo would have more chances to be ousted than Duterte.
“We hope that it won’t be just purely numbers here, we should look into the content and the substance,” he said.
“It is true that this would be a numbers game in the end. But we’re still optimistic that whatever political affiliations of our elected representatives in the Congress, by the time they decide, principles would still win over,” Guitierrez on the other hand said.
‘Tantamount to treason
VACC also claimed that Robredo has committed a “despicable act of treachery” against the Filipino people.
In a statement, VACC said with “hearsay information, she is vilifying before the world her government to which she was sworn to protect as elected Vice President.”
Jimenez added that Robredo has “ruthlessly” shamed President Rodrigo Duterte before the global community.
“This is a treacherous act and as an elected public official, this is tantamount to treason,” he stressed.
Jimenez noted that the vice president should have made clarifications first with the Philippine National Police (PNP) before “shaming” the country to the international audience.
Given these assertions, the VACC informed that they will study a possible disbarment case against Robredo.
As per Hernandez, the OVP sees no reason for Vice President Robredo to apologize.
“The only thing we did was give voice to ordinary Filipino families that have no one left to trust and rely on since they fear for their lives.”
“This is the mandate of the Vice President, to disclose truth and show the public that they can confide in VP Leni.”
On this subject, Hernandez bared that the OVP has been receiving assistance request from the urban poor regarding this “palit-ulo” scheme since August 2016.
A letter received released to the media showed that both the Department of Interior and Local Government and the PNP on January 30 have received the letter containing details on this alleged “palit-ulo”.
The OVP mentioned this was way before they sent the video message to the UN and since they haven’t received any response as yet. With Julius Leonen and Joyce Ann Rocamora