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    ‘Ready, not eager’: VP Leni says takeover talk started with President’s ‘RevGov’ threat

    Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday slammed attempts to paint her readiness to carry out her mandate as “eagerness” to be president. During her weekly radio show, BISErbisyong LENI, Robredo underscored that she was only responding to questions about her preparedness to assume the office, which all started when President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to declare a “revolutionary war” and suspend the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

    A response to critics’ call for caution over his pronouncements, the President’s remarks had sparked discussions of revolutionary government. This prompted legal experts to point out that if the President pushes through with his threat, VP Leni will have to take over the presidency.

    “Hindi naman tayo iyong nagsimula ng usapin. Actually, si Pangulo ang naggawa ng isang deklarasyon at tayo ay pinapa-komento lang doon,” she said.

    Robredo also responded to comments comparing Duterte’s remarks with the late former President Corazon Aquino’s declaration of a revolutionary government.

    VP Leni pointed out that Aquino made the move in line with re-establishing a democratic government, amid the confusion left by the last-ditch attempt of the late dictator to stay in power, and the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that followed suit.

    “Noong panahon ni President Cory, ibang-iba iyong sitwasyon ngayon. Alam mo naman na noon, kagagaling lang natin sa EDSA Revolution. Iyong nakaupo na pangulo, umalis sa Pilipinas, inabandona iyong kaniyang propesyon. Mayroong kalituhan dahil dalawang pangulo iyong nanumpa—nanumpa si Presidente Cory dahil siya naman talaga iyong nanalo sa eleksyon, nanumpa din si dating Pangulong Marcos. So iba iyong sitwasyon noon,” she said.

    “Noon, maraming kalituhan, kaya iyong kung naaalala natin, iyong pagdeklara ng revolutionary government, very limited time lang, ‘di ba? Talagang inayos lang iyong mga gusot, ipinasa na iyong 1987 Constitution,” she added.

    Robredo, a lawyer by profession, again noted that declaring a revolutionary government runs against Duterte’s duties as President, in particular his oath to protect and uphold the Constitution. She also underscored that there are no circumstances at present that would warrant the suspension of the privilege of the writ of habeas corpus.

    “[K]apag nagdeklara ng RevGov, parang inaabandona iyong sinumpaang pangangalaga sa Konstitusyon natin,” she said. “Iyong writ of habeas corpus naman, iyong Konstitusyon very clear dito—mayroon lang mga circumstances kung saan puwede niyang ideklara. At wala naman iyong circumstances na iyon ngayon, kaya hindi rin puwedeng magdeklara.”

    VP Leni also renewed her call for public servants to remain prudent in words and actions, even in the face of criticisms.

    “Iyong trabaho namin, talagang maraming kahirapan, marami talagang magte-test sa aming pasensya, maraming frustrations, marami kaming gustong gawin na hindi ganoon kadaling gawin dahil sa mga circumstances. Pero hindi dahil doon, hindi iyon ang nagbibigay sa amin ng lisensya para magsabi ng kung anong gusto naming sabihin kasi iyong sinasabi namin, parating may epekto sa ating bayan,” she said.

    “Kaya kailangan responsable iyong pagbibigay ng mga statements. Kailangan hindi dinadaan sa init ng ulo. Iyong mga karapatan na binibigay sa amin, iyong mga pribilehiyong binibigay, iyong mga responsibilidad na binibigay sa amin, hindi dapat iyon naaabuso. Iyon dapat, nagagamit para sa kabutihan ng lahat, hindi iyong dahil uminit lang iyong ulo namin, kung ano-ano na iyong gagawin namin para takutin iyong taumbayan,” she added.

    Posted in Press Releases on Apr 07, 2019