Roque: De Lima's claim of Marcos return to Malacañang is a 'hallucination'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 2) — Malacañang has dismissed the claim of Senator Leila de Lima that there were moves to put a Marcos in Malacañang.

In a statement Sunday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said, "Prison hallunication. Fate of the VP (Vice President) is with SC (Supreme Court) and not the Pres."

Roque was reacting on a recent missive from de Lima where she mentioned a "malevolent plan" to unseat Vice President Leni Robredo and have former Senator Bongbong Marcos succeed Duterte.

“Duterte has several ideas on how he will be replaced in case he decides to step down before his term ends. He has expressed his preference for Bongbong Marcos, Chiz Escudero, a military junta [but] none of them include the constitutional mode of succession, which is the only legal way of replacing him,” de Lima said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 371.

The Senator added, “With the federal charter change campaign dead on the water, and a military junta having no avid takers from the AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines), this means that the only viable option remaining is to make sure that Marcos is in position to succeed as VP when Duterte decides to step down."

In a speech in Mandaue City on August 30, the President said he preferred to have a dictator "in the likes of Marcos" at the helm rather than Robredo.

"If I stop now (in) my crusade against drugs, and if there is no order in this place, and corruption will continue? Patay. I said you're better off choosing a dictator in the likes of Marcos. That's what I suggested," he said.

"Pwede naman kayo mag [You can follow the] constitutional succession, si Robredo. But she cannot hack it," he added.

Robredo and Marcos are embroiled in a vote recount case.

The former Senator accused the Vice President of cheating in the June 2016 polls, after he lost to Robredo by 263,473 votes in the 2016 elections – among the narrowest margins in the history of the country's vice presidential elections.

The Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) already commenced the manual vote recount last April.