Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday downplayed the sedition case filed against her, saying she is “not that very stupid” to plot the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Robredo, who said she was preoccupied with work and her advocacy, said she does not have the luxury of time to be plotting any ouster or power grab attempt.
“It is funny since, first of all, I am not that very stupid to imagine to remove the person... the President who’s got a very high trust rating,” she said.
“Secondly, in the middle of the campaign? We were just too busy going around, and that our time was even not enough to go to other places. Why should I dwell on the ouster of the President?” Robredo added.
The Philippine National Police earlier filed sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal and obstruction of justice charges against Robredo; opposition senators Risa Hontiveros and Leila de Lima, and former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV before the Department of Justice for allegedly trying to oust the President.
Also charged were Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, former Senator Benigno Aquino IV, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Moro civic leader Samira Gutoc, former Solicitor-General Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romulo Macalintal and former House Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada.
The same charges were also filed against vocal critics of the Duterte administration, including Archbishops Socrates Villegas and Pablo Virgilio David, Bishops Honesto Ongtioco and Teodoro Bacani Jr., and priests Albert Alejo and Robert Reyes.
Former Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro and former Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te and several officials of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines were also named co-respondents in the complaint.
The complaint was anchored on the testimony of Peter Joemel Advincula, alias Bikoy, who implicated Robredo in the ouster plot.
Advincula, the hooded man in the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos was also named a respondent, even though his claims were used as basis for the complaint against Robredo and her co-accused.
The PNP-CIDG submitted the sworn statement of Advincula detailing his supposed meetings with the respondents and how they planned “Project Sodoma” aimed at spreading lies against the President’s family and allies and toppling Duterte.
“As averred by Mr. Advincula, he was engaged by the respondents to spread lies against the President, his family and close associates, making them to appear as illegal drug trade protectors and how they earned staggering amounts of money,” said the complaint signed by Police Lt. Col. Arnold Thomas Ibay of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
The Palace denied having a hand in the sedition charges filed against Robredo and 35 others.
“We have nothing to do with the complaints on VP and other senators. That’s basically a complaint of Bikoy, right? We don’t know anything,” presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said.