Robredo’s bleak picture of the country

Vice President Leni Robredo

I had high hopes when Leni Robredo won the vice presidency in 2016 against her closest rival, the dictator’s namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

Had even higher expectations when Robredo, despite her being an opposition, was given a Cabinet portfolio in the early part of the Duterte administration.

Was thinking that she would be an exemplary model of a non-traditional politician, following her late husband’s political approach, who could work with an unconventional politician like President Rodrigo Duterte.

Alas, Robredo valued to lead an opposition party, the Liberal Party (LP), and be among a group of traditional politicians – trapos – who had nothing to show and crow about during the preceding Aquino administration except to take care of their own personal and political interests.

What is becoming worse with Robredo is that she is falsely lamenting and maliciously depicting a bleak picture of the country when, during the 72nd anniversary of the LP, she exhorted her dwindling party mates “to remain true to what is right and not lose heart in the face of the “darkness” shrouding the nation.” She was being melodramatic in her black dress.

“Many ask us if there is still hope, where we are headed. Darkness envelops us. But we should not lose hope. Our party history is about fighting,” Robredo said.

I mean what darkness is she talking about and fighting for what?

At least Duterte is keeping true to his promise during the campaign that he will be fighting for the country and its people by going relentless against drugs, corruption and criminality, which were found later to be prevalent during Aquino’s LP administration but nothing forceful was done to curve the plagues.

Thus, I could not agree more with Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque’s statement that Robredo’s remarks were “completely out of touch with the existing realities on the ground.”

“The darkness that Vice President Robredo may be referring to perhaps pertains to the future of those discredited politicians who wish to return to power,” Roque added. It cannot be more nearer to the truth than this.

And it is precisely for this reason that Filipinos, in every poll survey now and then, have always given Duterte high marks in satisfaction, approval and trust ratings because they no longer want the deplorable ways of the traditional politicians that Robredo sadly has embraced, to make a comeback only to forsake the respect and meaningful changes we are gaining now as people and as a country.

 

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Robredo’s satisfaction rating suffers

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Results of the latest Social Weather Stations’ (SWS) survey released showed that Vice President Leni Robredo’s net satisfaction rating dropped by 11 points, from a “good” +37 to a “moderate” +26.

It was reported also that among top government officials Robredo registered the biggest decline which made Professor Ramon Casiple, a political analyst, opine that the 11-point dip in the vice president’s ratings was beyond the “normal range.”

Does Robredo have to worry that her satisfaction rating has suffered?

Of course she has to worry, and while she may not show it or does not want to comment about it, the fact is it could worsen and put her political life in jeopardy both as a politician and a leader.

I don’t really think that Robredo’s controversial video message to the United Nations (UN) about the government’s bloody war against illegal drugs (https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2017/03/19/obredo-un-message-slanders-the-philippines/) was a big factor in people being dissatisfied with her performance and neither are the black propaganda against her, as claimed by Liberal Party (LP) stalwarts, significant reasons enough for her satisfaction rating to decline.

But I would like to think that the main culprit for the downturn in her satisfaction rating is simply because of her being useless/inutile in her position as vice president with no responsibility whatsoever, ever since she resigned from the Cabinet as head of the Housing and Urban Development coordinating Council (HUDCC).

It is bad enough that Robredo does not have any achievement or accomplishment to crow about as vice president, but it is even worse that people sees her as a willing mouthpiece of the opposition and the Catholic Church, for that matter, to find fault and disparage at President Rodrigo Duterte who is trying his level best to make drastic and unorthodox changes in the way government is run.

Robredo may not agree in everything that Duterte does, but if majority of the Filipinos trust, believe and have high hopes in Duterte for the long awaited growth and development of the country and the lifting up of the lives of people, then who is she to be so critical of him?

All is not lost, however, for Robredo.

What could save her is her acceptance for dinner with Duterte after the Holy Week, where members of her family are also invited.

Hopefully, Robredo will know more Duterte better this time around and decide to be herself and not be used as pawn for the political advantage of her party mates in trying to destroy Duterte’s dream for the country and the Filipino people.

Robredo UN message slanders the Philippines

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Some Filipinos might think that Vice President Leni Robredo was doing the country a big favor when she video-taped a message, supposedly coming from the Office of the Vice President, and sent it to the 60th annual meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

I actually wrote about this already and you can read it at this link https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2017/03/15/robredos-palit-ulo-allegations/.

The reason why I am writing about this again is simply to show you another interesting link that also criticizes the way Robredo painted an image of the country under the Duterte administration generalizing the belief that the Filipinos now feel “hopeless and helpless” because of the president’s bloody war on drugs.

This link is a good read and an excellent rejoinder of Robredos’s scandalous remarks: http://politics.com.ph/ex-unga-delegate-slams-robredo-misrepresenting-pinoys/.

Many Filipinos, however, think that Robredo’s slander was short of saying that the Philippines is in bad shape and in dire need of help, which is just actually the opposite of where we are today – in the verge of growing and developing faster and optimistic of the future, thanks to the unconventional leadership style of Duterte.

I consider therefore the entirety of Robredo’s message as fake news, at best, and, at worst, a self-serving communication that she is trying to take advantage of because of her sinking credibility and her inadequacy and ineffectiveness as vice president.

Unless Robredo can prove that the extrajudicial killings are state sanctioned and the ridiculous “palit-ulo” scheme exist, then she has got nothing but alternative facts.

That there is now a plan to impeach her because she derided the Philippines in the international scene is good news.

I will not doubt that she is also being used and manipulated by her party mates to advance their political agenda, but the Filipino people had had enough of their inept and corrupt political culture that the change and reforms Duterte is implementing in government is a very much welcomed development.

I am just including here the video Robredo sent for your information and evaluation.

Robredo’s “palit-ulo” allegations

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

It is unfortunate, if not saddening, that Vice President Leni Robredo, a lawyer, has gone down to the gutter-level of attacking and debasing President Rodrigo Duterte about some serious allegation which has still to be proven by her.

While Duterte has recently absolved Robredo of being a party to a destabilization campaign being waged against him, the fact remains, however, that the vice president is spearheading the opposition group that is very vocal against the president’s bloody war on illegal drugs that has cost thousands of lives already.

It is in this context that Robredo newly and publicly revealed a new heinous scheme called “palit-ulo”, literally translated as “exchange heads/swap heads”, being employed by the government operatives in the slums or poverty-stricken areas when searching for persons of interest involved in illegal drugs.

Robredo elaborated this by completing the story, saying, “They (communities) told us of the ‘palit-ulo’ scheme which means ‘exchange heads’ where the wife, husband or relative in a so-called drug list will be taken if the person himself could not be found.”

This unconfirmed and unsubstantiated story, while prejudicial and damaging to President Duterte, has actually been recorded and scheduled to be played at the 60th annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna, Austria.

Robredo’s message obviously did not sit well with Malacañang as Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella immediately issued the following statements:

“Eight months into our campaign against illegal drugs, Vice President Robredo, suddenly refers to an alleged ‘palit-ulo’ scheme – which she mistakenly describes as substituting a relative for a missing drug personality.”

“While she has the right to speak freely on matters of public concern, she also has the responsibility to be careful with her statements especially avoiding unfounded allegations from questionable sources.”

While Abella admits the existence of a “palit-ulo scheme”, he explained, however, that this game plan involves “a commitment of a drug suspect to provide assistance in the arrest of a ‘bigger fish’ in the illegal drug syndicate”, which could earn the former a plea for lighter charges.

That is all there is to it, but having said that, Robredo has still to justify or prove that indeed an actual swapping of heads occurred.

Now I am wondering if Bongbong Marcos would have been a better vice president.

Robredo should resign from the Liberal Party

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo

There is no doubt that while the Filipino people have collectively and overwhelmingly ensured the victory of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte to be the country’s president in the 2016 presidential election, I am also sure that most Filipinos have breathe a sigh of relief that Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo won the vice presidency over the late dictator’s son and namesake, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

By now we already know who Duterte is and how zealous he is in carrying out his promise, which have been supported by the people, to wage war against illegal drugs, criminality and corruption.

On the other hand we have also seen the warming of relationship between PDP-Laban’s Duterte and Liberal Party’s (LP) Robredo which culminated in the latter being named Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) chairperson, thus, becoming member of Duterte’s Cabinet.

Despite being clearly identified with the “yellows”, the symbolic color of the LP, Duterte took chances of appointing Robredo as Housing czar and making her participate in Cabinet meetings as a token of acceptance and belief that she has the intelligence, diligence and the integrity to further boost the capabilities of the Duterte administration.

From the very beginning also, and even to this day, Robredo has expressed her continued support for the Duterte administration despite the latter’s colorful language and perceived chauvinist attitude towards women, but there are issues that she simply has to oppose and speak against like the dictator’s burial at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the extra-judicial killings that have been happening in Duterte’s relentless war against illegal drugs.

I don’t think there is really anything wrong with Robredo expressing her opinion against these issues as she is only articulating her rights, but what makes her and her statements controversial is that she continues to be highly seen as the leader, if not the mouthpiece, of the yellow movement of the LP.

This is what made Robredo persona-non-grata in the Duterte Cabinet, and for a reason, because now she is even being blamed for being part and parcel of a clique calling themselves Global Filipino Diaspora Council (GFDC) that is planning to oust Duterte.

I believe Robredo when she says she is not involved in any plot to oust Duterte, but no matter how much denying she opines the problem lies in the fact that she refuses to accept that she is being used and manipulated, and this definitely speaks bad of her.

If Robredo disavows any participation and has still an iota of faith in Duterte’s governance that he is doing it for the country and people, then she should resign and disassociate herself from the LP in any manner, shape and form that allows her to keep her independence, sincerity, integrity and incorruptibility intact.

Working with Duterte with the same determination and passion, while expressing objectively her displeasure over some unpalatable issues, will be good for Robredo instead of being used brazenly by unscrupulous “friends” as an arrowhead to target Duterte’s indiscretions.

 

Robredo disavows being puppet of the LP

 

Vice President Leni Robredo with President Rodrigo Duterte and some Cabinet members.

Vice President Leni Robredo with President Rodrigo Duterte and some Cabinet members.

Truth to tell is that I have nothing but admiration and support for Vice President Leni Robredo as a person and as a politician.

I expressed this opinion and you can find it at : https://quierosaber.wordpress.com/2016/12/04/duterte-doing-an-injustice-to-robredo/.

But truth to tell also now is that, whether or not she resigned or got booted out from the Duterte Cabinet, I would have preferred that she remained independent rather accepting and taking the helm of the Liberal Party (LP) as urged by the existing members of the party.

It is not too late though and she can still change her mind, notwithstanding that the LP has been her husband’s party, for the truth also is that the LP now is no longer the same while her husband was still alive.

In fact it was Robredo herself who said that when she ran for congress in Camarines Sur she was able to prove that she could work independently, without any influence from her party.

The reason why those opposing the Duterte administration in the LP want Robredo to lead is simply because, unlike many of them, she continues to be credible and has always been portrayed as a decent, intelligent and a charismatic political leader.

It is only understandable that many perceives Robredo to be a lap dog or a puppet of the LP because in reality those behind that are propping her up do not have the integrity or reliability and much less the competence to rally a forceful opposition.

What has the LP done anyway that is constructive enough to sway the sentiments of the people to support them?

Nothing! Nada!

Majority of the people are still supporting President Rodrigo Duterte because many things, in so short a time of his administration, have happened that augurs well for the country and the Filipino people.

I am not saying that Robredo should not oppose Duterte’s ways of governance if what he does and says do not conform with her principles and values, for then she will only appear to be hypocritical.

But if Robredo has the interest of the country and the welfare of the people foremost in her agenda too, just like Duterte’s, why would she still have to lead the LP when she knows very well now the difference between how it was during the heydays of the LP in Aquino’s time and how hopeful the people are today under the leadership of Duterte and hers, for that matter?

I am sure that because Robredo is now disavowing being a puppet of the LP that she knows she is just being used.

What is encouraging is that Robredo has not lost her respect for Duterte’s leadership as she still wants to assure Duterte of her support for the good things the president is doing.

That she is out of the Cabinet does not mean that she will be confrontational for every move and statement Duterte makes.

Robredo simply has to learn to live with Duterte for who he is because he has proven to be an effective leader.

Duterte never minded Robredo’s opposition to some contentious issues the latter has been expressing and defending. Duterte respected that.

If only Robredo would start learning how to disassociate herself from the LP and its ‘yellowtards’ and be just independent in her criticisms of the administration, what positive difference it would be making for the country with her working harmoniously with Duterte in their quest for peace, stability and progress.

Robredo is a square peg in Duterte’s round administration

 

Vice President Leni Robredo

Vice President Leni Robredo

I would like to think that Vice President Leni Robredo’s support of President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership, the way she has been rallying others to do, is unconditional.

The way it looks, however, it does not fall under that category for the simple reason that among the members of the Cabinet it is Robredo only who has openly expressed foreboding over the wave of killings around the country resulting from the administration’s no-nonsense drive against drugs and criminality.

Robredo described her concern as the government’s growing culture of vigilantism and violence which she strongly abhors.

If nobody else in the Duterte’s Cabinet has condemned the killings, what does that make therefore of Robredo, but a square peg in a round hole?

Surely it does, but can Robredo still shape herself into a round peg to continue fitting into Duterte’s round circle of trusted supporters?

Of course she can if she tries to gather her wits together and not be swayed or get carried away by the spiteful imputations of neophyte Sen. Leila de Lima who claims that summary executions or extrajudicial killings are committed by the police in their anti-drug campaign, thus, her call for a Senate investigation.

Aside from the fact that de Lima has an axe to grind against Duterte whom she hasn’t been able to pin down for human rights violation in Davao while still a mayor, she is also trying to recoup her tarnished image, now as a senator, as an inept Justice Secretary who did nothing to solve the scandalous and corrupt activities done by the detained high-profile drug lords, who, it was confirmed by Duterte, continued to be one of the sources of illegal drugs being distributed in the country.

This early of the Duterte administration, Robredo should give Duterte the kind of support and trust that the many Filipinos have given him, not to mention his Cabinet members and political allies, in solving the problems terribly afflicting the country today and in the process effect a positive change for the country and in the lives of the Filipinos.

Sad to say that there are killings, but if those dead are the scum who have destroyed lives and future of Filipino youths with impunity for a long, long time now, wouldn’t we heave a sigh of relief that at last something is done to eliminate the drug scourge in this country?

In the same manner, wouldn’t we be heaving also a big sigh of relief knowing that the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA), in tandem with the Philippine National Police (PNP), have destroyed close to P2-billion worth of illegal drugs, which if it has found its way into the hands of unscrupulous people would have been hell for many Filipino families

Robredo should not interfere this early in what is happening to the serious and determined anti- drug campaign waged by the Duterte administration through the equally fearless and no-nonsense PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, no matter how she abhors extrajudicial killings.

Now that Robredo is a Cabinet member and the administration’s housing czar, being chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), it would be more appreciated if she just attends to her daunting task of giving adequate shelter to the greater number of poor and homeless Filipinos.

Robredo has her hands full without meddling in the events unfolding in drug related issues. Am sure other appropriate government agencies are competently looking into the legality or legitimacy of the killings.