Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, had advised Vice President Leni Robredo not to believe the president’s statement that she would finish her term.
The senator claimed to have obtained information that Duterte’s allies are seeking to fast-track the resolution of the electoral protest filed by former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. against Robredo.
Marcos is a friend of Duterte, whose father Vicente served as Cabinet member of the former senator’s father late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.
“I do believe that before the year 2017 ends, we would have a new vice president,” Trillanes said.
Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said they are not aware of the basis of Trillanes’ claims.
“We do not know where Senator Antonio Trillanes got his information or timeline. What we all know is that the president, as a firm advocate of the rule of law, believes in judicial independence as a bedrock of our democratic system,” Andanar said.
“He (Duterte) will respect the decision of the Supreme Court which will sit as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) in the election protest filed by former Senator Bongbong Marcos.”
The younger Marcos lost to Robredo by a slim margin of more than 200,000 votes but has filed an electoral protest due to what he claimed are irregularities in the canvassing.
Last week, Robredo resigned as Duterte’s housing chief after she was barred from attending Cabinet meetings. Malacañang officials said Duterte had excluded Robredo from the meetings because of “irreconcilable differences.”
Before her resignation, Robredo claimed that efforts to steal the vice presidency from her are in motion but Duterte assured her that his administration has no plot to oust her. /Alexis Romero (philstar.com)/