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.

Robredo charm captivates Duterte

 

Pres. Duterte shaking hands with Vice Pres. Robredo during latter's courtesy call.

Pres. Duterte shaking hands with Vice Pres. Robredo during latter’s courtesy call.

Or so it appeared when President Rodrigo Duterte finally met Vice President Leni Robredo at the AFP change of command ceremony.

It was providential that Robredo decided to attend despite her apprehensions of being snubbed for it softened the heart of Duterte and erased whatever indifference and cynicism he had for the woman vice president.

It showed on his face, in his comportment and in his gestures that Duterte has accepted her as the vice president and that he has to contend with it as much as the people wants him to.

There is no doubt that the people loved it, amused even at the way Robredo was laughing, maybe, at his comments or at his jokes, for we all know that while Duterte has his serious moments, he can be wacky, too.

Brief the meeting was perhaps, but the light moments they spent together on the stage and in the presence of very important people augured well for the country.

This feeling of good will, acceptance and respect could not have been authenticated more than by Duterte’s warm welcome of Robredo, when the latter made a courtesy call on him in Malacañang.

Slowly Duterte is getting to know Robredo better and for what she stands for – her advocacy on food security, health, rural development, education and people empowerment, and her call on the people to rally behind the Duterte administration for the good of the nation, I don’t think the president will just allow his very able vice president to be left just floating.

“The best path at least for my office now is to work with the private sector, create collaborations and partnerships and synergies that will maximize both the resources of government and of the private sector,” she said.

This is one statement of Robredo that should bother Duterte’s conscience and would impel him to extend a helping hand to the former to facilitate and even hasten the improvement in the quality of life of the poor Filipinos.

“Ako po bilang pangalawang pangulo (As the vice president), I believe that the number one responsibility now is to help rally everyone behind the new administration. This administration deserves our support. Hindi naman po ito para kay President Duterte lamang pero para ito sa sambayanang Pilipinas (This is not for Duterte alone but for the people of the Philippines),” she said.

This is not, therefore, about giving Robredo a Cabinet position to be able to fully harness her capabilities. This is not even about party politics.

Rather, this is about realizing that assisting Robredo in her worthy causes will complement effectively Duterte’s program and direction for the country and its people.

It is also realizing that while Duterte’s friend, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is there simply for vindicating their name for their own selfish and scandalous interests, Robredo is there to help Duterte make the Philippines, the land of his birth, a nation that is peaceful, stable and progressive, the way he envisions it to be, because she believes in his leadership.

Duterte and Robredo

 

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo

President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo

We are all aware why President Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President Leni Robredo had separate venues for their inaugural rites, but wasn’t it simply poignant that at the end of the day the latter was not present during the first Cabinet meeting held in Malacañang?

This must have been the lamentable sentiment of many upon seeing that, indeed, it seems that in the Duterte administration the vice presidency is positioned to be just a spare tire, as we have all been made to believe.

But if one listened closely to the inaugural speeches of both officials, one could immediately notice how similar they are in their determination and commitment to serve the best interest of the country and the Filipinos.

While they may be glaringly poles apart in character, language and behavior, one could right away discern that both are not traditional politicians who are comfortable having people to serve them instead of them serving the people.

There is no mistaking that, unlike many leaders before them and the numerous political sycophants now basking in glory with the new president and the party he belongs to, both Duterte and Robredo can truly be considered as servant leaders.

They are exemplars of what a public official should be, having opted to enter government. They know whereof they speak. They have become a role model in their own rights, whether in a conventional way or out-of-the-box leadership.

Servant leadership varies in style, as one notice with Duterte’s and Robredo’s, but just the same their peculiarities and techniques become the foundation for leading others effectively for greater interest of country and people.

Servant leaders know that no one is perfect, and everyone makes mistake –including themselves. Yet, they push for high standards and service quality for what they have promised to do while holding themselves and those working for them in government accountable for their performance.

Hopefully, now that Duterte and Robredo have finally met, that friendship will ensue and trust between one another will develop such that the former will consider his vice president an asset rather than a liability in pursuing reforms in government and for him to welcome Robredo to his administration.