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Robredo denies involvement in ‘Lenileaks’ scandal but says mention of her name in emails not a surprise

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Vice President Leni Robredo has denied any involvement in the supposed plan hatched by Liberal Party supporters for President Rodrigo Duterte’s ouster, though she does not find mention of her name in the purportedly incriminating emails surprising.

While Robredo on Monday (Jan. 9) admitted her knowledge of the so-called “LeniLeaks” was limited to “bits and pieces,” she said she has no hand in either the Yahoo! group where the supposedly incriminating emails were posted or the plans reportedly hatched by the individuals included in the conversation.

“Hindi ko alam kung ano ang participation ko, na-memention daw ang pangalan ko pero hindi ako kabahagi nung grupong iyon. Mayroon din daw e-mails na nag-cicirculate, wala. Hindi rin ako kabahagi doon,” she told reporters in Marinduque.

Robredo, however, said she was not surprised her name has been dragged into the controversy because of her supporters.

“Na-memention yata iyong pangalan ko, na hindi naman surprising, kasi ako ang pangalawang pangulo. Mayroon tayong mga supporters na karamihan nag-rereact din sa ginagawang pambibiktima sa atin,” she said.

LeniLeaks refers to the email exchanges between personalities, including US-based immigration lawyer Ted Laguatan and certain persons in the Philippines on how Duterte could be ousted. The messages were posted on the public Yahoo! group of the Global Filipino Diaspora Council whose members include LP supporter and Filipino-American philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis.

The purportedly incriminating emails also include the social media strategy supposedly proposed by Vice President Leni Robredo’s staff following the criticism she drew for proceeding with her US trip while Typhoon Nina battered Bicol during the Christmas season.

In a nutshell, the Vice President’s social media team’s proposed response to criticism over her remark that rehabilitation efforts in typhoon-hit areas was to downplay Duterte’s efforts to help victims, attack supposed “troll influencers” who criticized Robredo’s absence when the calamity struck, and pounce on Marcos and his and his family’s reported shortcomings.

While critics claim Robredo could be charged for inciting to sedition over the emails, Robredo said she found it “surprising” that people who would be plotting Duterte’s ouster would be posting their emails in a public Yahoo! group.

Nevertheless, the Vice President said she would rather focus on her work.

“Pero ang sa akin, as much as possible, gusto ko sanang mag-concentrate sa trabaho, kasi ang tingin ko lang, ang daming viciousness ngayon sa Internet,” she said.

“Mayroon kaming mandatong kailangan gampanan – na kung magpapadala kami sa kasamaan na nangyayari online, paano namin magagampanan ang aming mandato?” Robredo added.