Robredo liable for treason for ‘recklessly destroying’ PHL’s image – VACC

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An anti-crime group on Monday said Vice President Leni Robredo committed treason for allegedly making unfounded claims on the government’s war on drugs before the international community.

At a press conference in Manila, an irate Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chairman Dante Jimenez lashed out at Robredo for claiming in a video sent to the United Nations that more than 7,000 people have been killed in summary executions.

He also took exception to Robredo’s statement about an alleged “palit-ulo” scheme where relatives of a drug suspect will be taken if the person himself cannot be found.

The six-minute video was played on March 16 at the “Human Rights Challenge: Responding to Extrajudicial Killings in the Drug War,” a side session organized for the 60th United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs Annual Meeting in Vienna, Austria.

“Madam Vice President, you are presenting to the world that we are a nation that the government does not exist anymore? This a lie,” Jimenez said.

“She is recklessly destroying the image of her own country with unverified charges. In the process, she is also pulling down Filipinos. This is a treacherous act and as an elected public official, this is tantamount to treason,” he added.

Political treason

VACC general counsel Ferdinand Topacio said Robredo made it appear before the international community that the government was incapable of acting on alleged cases of extrajudicial killings when the issue has been investigated by the Senate and the Commission on Human Rights.

“Barefaced liar ang ating Bise Presidente and it’s shameful for her to be bringing this before the international community. Hindi na bale na tama. Hindi na bale kung tama. Napakasama po ng ginagawa,” Topacio said.

“And for me, although it does not fall strictly under the definition of treason, that’s political treason in the highest degree and she deserves to be impeached.”

Also present at the press briefing were Philippine National Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos and National Bureau of Investigation spokesman Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin, who both denied the “palit-ulo” scheme in anti-drug operations.

“Hindi po ito parte ng aming operation. Sana po ay nakipag-ugnayan sila para natignan natin ang specific na sinasabing ipinarating sa kanila,” Carlos said.

“Not only the palit ulo does not exist at the NBI, it is not being practiced and will never be tolerated by Director Dante Gierran. Please take note also the NBI, in the war against drugs, would always resort to search warrant in operations,” Lavin added.

On Saturday, Robredo said that her office had reached out to the PNP and the Department of the Interior and Local Government regarding the alleged abused in police anti-drugs operations.

“In fact, sumubok kaming humingi ng datos sa DILG at saka sa PNP as early as January pa. Pero ang sulat kasi namin hindi sinagot,” she said in a media interview in Naga City.

Public apology

Jimenez said the VACC will write Robredo a letter to express its concern on her statements and to call on the vice president to make a public apology.

“That’s the least she could do,” Jimenez said, adding the filing of a disbarment case before the Supreme Court is also being considered should Robredo declines to issue a public apology.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had threatened to file an impeachment complaint against Robredo for “betrayal of public trust,” also based on the video statement.

Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said earlier in the day that the vice president is ready to face the possible impeachment complaint to be filed against her before the House of Representatives, where the administration enjoys a commanding support.

source: GMA News

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