Hours after a Malacañang official said the so-called “LeniLeaks” wouldn’t be investigated, another official said the Palace would investigate online reports of supposed plots to oust President Rodrigo Duterte.
In an interview over television program, Communications Secretary Martin M. Andanar said Mr. Duterte was aware of moves to unseat him, and he would not be happy if such plans were proven to be true.
Andanar said that Malacañang has reached out to the sources of the information and it is already being looked into by National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.
“Magbibigay ng rekomendasyon si Secretary Esperon kung ano ang nararapat na gawin. Hindi dapat na pangunahan ang rekomendasyon ni Secretary Esperon,” he added.
The “LeniLeaks” was supposedly “leaked e-mails” posted online which allegedly showed exchanges between Filipino-American philanthropist Loida Nicolas-Lewis and her sister, former Commission on Filipinos Overseas Chair Imelda “Mely” Nicolas.
Vice President Leni Robredo, who resigned as Housing Secretary after being barred by Duterte from attending Cabinet meetings last month, had denied any connection to the ouster plans.
Earlier on Sunday, another official said the Palace would not investigate the “LeniLeaks” controversy, saying the plan to oust President Rodrigo Duterte will likely not happen.
“Well, we don’t honestly know so far if this will be investigated but whatever ouster plans or resign…These groups who are asking for the President to resign, we know at this point this is far-fetched from happening because our President is working, he has a strong support from our countrymen, so I don’t think that would really be something --- it would go for investigation. Although, we don’t know… we don’t know yet of this would be investigated,” said Assistant Secretary Ana Maria Paz Banaag, of the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), during an interview on state-run dzRB on Sunday morning.
When asked about Robredo’s denial that she is involved in the plot, Banaag said, “Well, we will respect whatever the Vice President would claim and nasa sa kanya po ‘yon.”
“If there are photos or emails or leaks that would come out, then it’s up to her to convince the public if this is true, that she does not know anything about this, or she is not coordinating with other groups in the US or other personalities in the Philippines about that,” said Banaag.
However, Robredo on Saturday categorically denied being a part of a plot to oust Duterte, saying that move to displace him would not bring any good to the country.
“I am sure that I did not take part in any plot to oust Duterte, if there is indeed such a plot. First of all, I am being accused of joining rallies against him. That is not true. The president was misinformed on that,” Robredo said.
Robredo insisted that any move to oust the President would not bring any good to the country.
“I do not know what his basis was, but when the president was interviewed last Christmas, he said that I was a part of rallies to oust him. That is not true, I did not join any rally,” she said.
She also said that she did not attend even the anti-Marcos burial rallies late last year where she was invited.
Robredo explained that her criticisms of the president in certain issues are not tantamount to calling for his ouster.
“For me, I criticize the president so he can hear us out on issues we feel strongly about, like extrajudicial killings. But my criticisms are not tantamount to calling for his ouster,” Robredo said.