By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Malacañang asked the public to respect President Duterte’s recent remarks against Vice President Leni Robredo, saying the Chief Executive may have made the statement due to his almost 30-year experience in government.
On Tuesday, President Duterte said he will not resign just because it will make Robredo president. Duterte said that Robredo will not be able to lead the country due to incompetence.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, in a radio interview Wednesday, said the people cannot blame Duterte for making such assessment due to standards that the President may have developed over the past three decades.
“Iyong assessment naman ni Presidente na incompetent si VP, hindi naman natin maaalis ‘yan dahil halos tatlumpung taon naman nanilbihan sa gobyerno ang ating Pangulo (We cannot deprive him of making assessments that the Vice President is incompetent because he has served for almost 30 years in the government),” he said over Radyo Pilipinas.
“Siguro naman mayroon siyang mga standards at mayroon siyang mga guidelines kung sino ang competent at hindi kompitente (Maybe he has standards and guidelines on what is competent and what is not),” he added.
Roque also reminded the public that Duterte is a president who always speaks what is on his mind.
“Respetuhin po natin ‘yan dahil ito po’y isang obserbasyon ng isang taong napakahaba ng paninilbihan sa ating gobyerno (Let’s respect his remarks because this is an observation of someone who has served the government for a long time),” he said.
Meanwhile, the Palace official explained that Duterte may have asked the Consultative Committee (ConCom) to put a provision in the proposed federal charter that would seek the election of a transition leader for the same reason.
“Ang konteksto po ng sinabi ni Presidente kung bakit hiniling po niya sa Consultative Committee na magbuo ng Transitory Provision, na ang transition leader eh dapat ihalal ng taumbayan dahil ayaw niyang ibigay kay VP Leni iyong liderato during the transition (The context is the President asked the ConCom to craft a Transitory Provision that will allow the people to elect a transition leader because he doesn’t want VP Leni to lead during the transition),” Roque said.
President Duterte’s remarks against Robredo came after the Vice President assumed the leadership of the opposition against Duterte’s administration.
According to Roque, this statement of the Vice President signals that she will not accept any position under Duterte’s leadership after giving off mixed signals.
“May mga panahon naghahangad siya maging kabahagi ng Gabinete. So minsan nakakagulo, hindi mo maintindihan kung gusto niyang maging kasapi ng administrasyon, na maging oposisyon (There are times when she wants to be part of the Cabinet. So it complicates things. Sometimes she wants to be part of the administration, sometimes the opposition),” Roque said in an interview over DZRH early Wednesday.
“Pero itong huli niyang deklarasyon, siguro ito ay pahiwatig na hindi na rin siya tatanggap ng kahit anong posisyon sa ating gobyerno other than iyong kanyang pagiging (But her last declaration seems to be a signal that she will not accept any other position under the government aside from being the) Vice President,” he added.
However, Roque clarified that the President recognizes the role of the opposition in a democratic country and that it was only appropriate for Robredo to lead it.
“Talagang kinakailangan ng oposisyon sa ating gobyerno and siya naman talaga ang pinakamataas na halal na miyembro ng oposisyon. So, tama lang po iyon na siya ay tumayong lider ng oposisyon (The government needs the opposition and she holds the highest position among all of them. So it is just right for her to serve as the opposition’s leader),” he said.