VICE-PRESIDENT Maria Leonor G. Robredo and Senator Francis N. Pangilinan, leaders of the opposition Liberal Party (LP), on Sunday denied President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s claims that the LP is among the groups plotting to have him ousted.
“We have no connection with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). We haven’t had any kind of conversation. We all know that the role of the Communist Party of the Philippines in society is that they exist independently of any political party,” said Ms. Robredo, LP chairperson, in a mix of Filipino and English in her weekly radio show BISErbisyong Leni.
Mr. Pangilinan, LP president, said the Duterte administration is “destabilizing itself.”
“The opposition does not have to do anything. On its own, either by its incompetence or corruption, the government is doing a good job of destabilizing itself,” he said in a statement.
At a press conference after his arrival from Israel and Jordan on Saturday, Mr. Duterte said Senator Antonio F. Trillanes IV, the LP, and the CPP have allied to remove him from office.
“Tatlong ‘yan, bantayan ninyo (Keep watch of those three), the Yellow Liberals, Trillanes, and the politburo. Iyan ‘yung mag-a-oust na— oust Duterte and it will go into a higher (level of activities) — October,” Mr. Duterte said.
Both LP leaders noted Mr. Duterte’s tendencies to blame the opposition over controversies that hound his administration.
Ms. Robredo said the administration had always targeted LP as its “whipping boy.”
“The Liberal Party is always used as a whipping boy… Do they know that almost no one is left in the party? Everyone has transferred. If you’re talking about Liberal Party, who are you referring to?” she said in Filipino.
“All of the government’s shortcomings are being blamed to the Liberal Party. I think it’s not right,” she added.
Instead of “throwing baseless accusations at LP,” Mr. Pangilinan said the government should instead focus on the country’s pressing problems, such as inflation, the rice crisis, and the lack of jobs.
“If the President doesn’t want to listen to the opposition, that’s fine but his own allies are sounding the alarm bells. Malacañang should heed the clamor of its own allies and act decisively to solve the rice crisis,” he said. — Camille A. Aguinaldo