World Bulletin / News Desk
Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo vowed Monday to spearhead national opposition to extrajudicial killings and other flashpoint issues surrounding President Rodrigo Duterte's controversial anti-crime crackdown.
"This is not the time for fear. It is a time for conviction. It is a time for courage," Robredo, a lawyer, told reporters.
Robredo, 51, quit Duterte's cabinet after a top presidential aide told her over the weekend she had been banned from its meetings.
The president and vice president are elected separately in the Philippines, and the current pair belong to rival parties.
Robredo accepted a post as a housing czar after Duterte took office on June 30, following a local tradition in which the vice president is given a cabinet position regardless of political affiliation.
But their simmering tensions boiled over because of Duterte's decision to allow the embalmed body of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried at the national heroes' cemetery last month.
Robredo, 51, cited the Marcos burial as one issue on which she would be a "stronger voice" now she had quit Duterte's cabinet.
She also highlighted Duterte's drugs war, which has claimed more than 4,800 lives and led to accusations that the government is overseeing widespread extrajudicial killings.
"I will oppose all policies with a stronger voice... that I think are detrimental to the Filipino people," Robredo said, specifically citing "extrajudicial killings".
She also vowed to speak out against plans by the Duterte administration to bring back the death penalty and lower the age of criminal responsibility to nine.
"If being an opposition leader entails that, then I will be an opposition leader," she said.
With surveys showing Filipinos overwhelmingly endorse Duterte's hardline anti-crime policies, he has so far faced very little political opposition.
Turncoats are a feature of the Philippines' democracy, and many members of Robredo's Liberal Party joined the president's alliance so that they could receive funding and enjoy other opportunities of siding with the winner.
Robredo also on Monday elaborated on her claims Sunday that there was a plot to oust her as vice president. She alleged that Duterte's allies wanted to install Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jnr in her place.
Marcos Jnr finished a narrow second to Robredo in the May elections, and has filed a legal challenge to the result alleging voter fraud.
The Marcoses are Duterte allies and the president has said they helped fund his presidential campaign.Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2016, 16:12