Press Release
July 20, 2019

Robredo impeachment threat another diversionary tactic - De Lima

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has belittled the threat to impeach Vice President Leni Robredo for her support of an independent probe on the government's bloody war on drugs as a diversionary tactic to cover up for Duterte's own culpability.

De Lima, a known human rights defender here and abroad, said the impeachment threat made by Presidential Anti-Corruption Commissioner Manuelito Luna against Robredo is meant to earn "brownie points" from Mr. Duterte.

"Nakahanap na naman ang administrasyon ng isa pang mouthpiece para pagtakpan ang patong-patong na kasalanan nila sa bayan," she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 559.

"Calling for the impeachment of the Vice President is also a diversion from the real accountability that President Duterte has to answer," she added.

Luna claimed Robredo's support to the resolution adopted by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a probe on human rights situation in the Philippines may cause her to be impeached as it allegedly constitutes betrayal of public trust.

Like the members of the Senate minority bloc, Robrero has urged the government to welcome the UNHRC-led investigation into the reported human rights abuses in the country, especially if the administration has nothing to hide.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of the Duterte administration's violent war on drugs, explained that Robredo's support for the UNHRC Resolution is only expected from any self-respecting public official, let alone the President himself.

"It should be what any President who has nothing to hide would also do," said De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion.

After denouncing the UNHRC resolution as mere interference, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo revealed that Mr. Duterte is mulling the Philippines' withdrawal from the UNHRC.

The lady Senator from Bicol lamented how the Duterte regime is using the Vice President as an easy scapegoat for the government's flagrant failure to uphold human rights and the rule of law in implementing its all-out war on drugs.

"Because the world has spoken once more, the Duterte regime is once again scrambling for a scapegoat for its lack of commitment to uphold human rights. VP Leni is on the receiving end of this dirty trick," she said.

"Ang tunay na nagtaksil sa kanyang mandato na protektahan ang mamamayang Pilipino ay si Rodrigo Duterte at ang kanyang administrasyon," she added.

A prominent victim of Duterte's oppressive regime, De Lima recently called the UNHRC Resolution as a "welcome step" and a "jumpstart" in the Filipinos' search for accountability for the gross human rights violation in the country under Mr. Duterte.

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