Palace on de Lima ouster plan claim: ‘That’s prison hallucination’

MANILA — Malacañang on Sunday branded as “prison hallucination” the remarks made by detained Senator Leila de Lima accusing President Rodrigo R. Duterte of allegedly being behind a plot to unseat Vice President Leni Robredo and tap former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong Marcos to replace him.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded de Lima that it was not within the President’s power to unseat a Vice President but the Supreme Court’s.

“Prison hallucination. Fate of VP (Vice President) is with SC (Supreme Court) and not the Pres(ident),” Roque said in a text message.

De Lima claimed Duterte was “demolishing the public image of VP Leni” to make it easier for him “to sell Marcos’s hovering fraudulent victory at the PET to the Filipino people.”

She also described this plan as a “Duterte-sponsored Marcos comeback.”

Duterte earlier expressed plans to step down if Marcos wins his election case against Robredo. He also said that he found Robredo unqualified to be President.

The President also stood by his belief that Naga City, Roberdo’s hometown, is a “hotbed of shabu” claiming that the Vice President’s brother-in-law, Butch Robredo, is involved in the illegal drug trade.

The Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), is currently holding a manual vote recount on Marcos’ protest claiming that Robredo’s camp cheated in the automated polls in May 2016.

Marcos filed the protest on June 29, 2016 after Robredo won the vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes or 263,473 more than Marcos’ 14,155,344 votes

De Lima is presently detained in Camp Crame over drug trafficking charges which stemmed from the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison during her term as justice secretary.