De Lima: Removal of Robredo special to Duterte

“The only remaining woman to be removed from office by [President Rodrigo] Duterte is VP (Vice President) Leni Robredo,” detained Senator Leila M. de Lima said in a statement released May 23. “The removal of VP Robredo is special to Duterte.”

Senator de Lima said former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is now out of office and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales will soon vacate her office when she completes her term in July.

“Ombudsman Morales will finish her term in July of this year, making her ouster by Duterte already unnecessary,” de Lima said.

De Lima said removal of Robredo is special because “strong women remind Duterte so much of his own mother’s spirit that dominated him, something that he is unable to escape from up to the present. Duterte prefers women to be weak.”

“Second, it will be the removal from office of the last high-ranking official critical of Duterte’s regime. Robredo remains to be a thorn on the President’s side, despite her efforts to work with him on matters of governance and leadership,” de Lima added.

“Third, if done through the election protest filed by Bongbong Marcos with the SC acting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), it will replace Robredo with Marcos as Vice President. This will save Duterte from calls for his own ouster. Because Duterte’s removal from office will mean the succession of another plundering Marcos to the presidency, his critics will now hesitate from asking him to resign,” she added.

De Lima said “the last point is why Robredo’s removal as VP can be achieved via the election protest filed by Marcos. With GMA and Duterte appointees as allies in the Supreme Court, Marcos might be able to pull a protest victory, no matter how seemingly improbable at the moment.”

“The Court just told us in Republic v. Sereno that white is black. There is no reason why it cannot tell us in Marcos v. Robredo that yellow is red. After all, Marcos needs only 8 votes to oust Robredo, the same number of votes used to oust Sereno,” she added.