Opposition senator: LP concentrated on 2019 elections, not 'ouster' plot

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — The Liberal Party is more concentrated on the upcoming mid-term elections, and not an alleged ouster plot against the President, Senator Bam Aquino said on Tuesday.

"Everyone in the opposition [is] all looking electorally already," Aquino told CNN Philippines' The Source. "Kung merong protestang mangyayari laban sa administrasyon [If there is a protest against the administration], it has to be electoral."

President Rodrigo Duterte last weekend accused the opposition party of conspiring with administration critic Senator Antonio Trillanes and communist rebels to oust him. Vice President Leni Robredo, a member of the Liberal Party, denied the allegations and Trillanes dismissed Duterte as paranoid.

Aquino said the President was voted democratically, and so his party was just concentrated in securing votes in 2019 to counter the ruling party in Congress.

They were also focused on policies to mediate the rising prices of goods, he added.

"Yung pinakaplano ng oposisyon is to focus on these economic problems," said Aquino. "Ito ang kailangan ng tao, hindi yung smoke and mirrors na ouster na pinag-uusapan na wala namang basehan."

[Translation: The opposition's main plan is to focus on these economic problems. This is what people need, not the smoke and mirrors of a rumored ouster that has no basis.]

More expensive goods come amid higher taxes on fuel and sugar, a nine-year record high for inflation, and a weaker peso. The Philippines also faces a problem with the cost of rice.

Amid these economic concerns, Aquino called out the government proclamation to void amnesty granted to Trillanes. Administration officials sought authorization to arrest the senator, but Trillanes has since said that he could not be made a "diversion" from more immediate concerns like the cost of food.

"All of this, it's all a distraction. Nakakahiya sa taong bayan na hindi natin binibigyan ng oras ang totoong problema nila," said Aquino.

[Translation: It's embarrassing to the people that we can't focus on their real problems.]

"I'm hoping people in our institutions will still opt to do the right thing, na hindi magbubulag-bulagan para sa [that they won't play blind to] Malacanang," he added. "Gagawin pa rin nila ang tama, especially in this case na klarong klaro naman [That they will do what is right, especially in this case where it is clear]."

Trillanes has raised his case to the Supreme Court. The administration turned to two Makati Regional Trial Courts to issue an alias warrant allowing Trillanes' arrest, but both have deferred to the high court.

RELATED: Supreme Court denies Trillanes plea for temporary restraining order on Duterte order