Robredo says Duterte wasted opportunity to allay problems on economy, poverty

Published September 12, 2018, 5:30 PM

by AJ Siytangco

By Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo was not satisfied with President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest public address and said he should have had assured the people that his administration is on top of the situation despite the country’s problems.

Vice President Leni Robredo delivered the keynote speech at the launch of Marites Vitug's "Rock Solid: How the Philippines Won Its Maritime Case Against China," held at the Ateneo de Manila University on Wednesday, July 24, 2018. In her remarks, VP Leni lauded Vitug for undertaking a journalistic account of the Philippine government's fight and eventual victory before the Permanent Court of Arbitration, and joined anew the call of other senior officials for the administration to take advantage of this ruling. (Photo by OVP)
Vice President Leni Robredo

“Iyong aking inaasahan, kaya niya haharapin iyong taumbayan kahapon para sabihin nga na: ‘Totoong may problema tayo, pero ito iyong solusyon na ginagawa ng ating pamahalaan. Huwag kayong mag-aalala at iyong pamahalaan is on top of the situation (I was expecting that the reason why he was going to face the nation was to tell us: It is true that we have problems, but here are the solutions government is doing. Don’t worry because the government is on top of the situation),’” she said.

“Para sana kahit papaano assurance iyon sa mga tao na ang pamahalaan on top of the situation. Kapag hindi kasi nagpapakita ng control iyong pamahalaan, iyong pagkabahala ng tao na lalong hihirap iyong buhay (Somehow that’s an assurance to the people that the government is on top of the situation. If the government is not showing it is in control, the people gets alarmed that life will be harder),” she added.

The Vice President aired her dissatisfaction with Duterte’s one and half hour tete-a-tete with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo on the sidelines of the turnover of the two-classroom building at Batang Batang Elementary School in Victoria, Tarlac.

For Robredo, it was a “wasted opportunity” that Duterte was not able to pay attention first to the country’s problems on the economy and poverty.

The Vice President said that Duterte’s attacks on his political opponents like Senator Antonio Trillanes IV did not help in addressing the urgent concerns of Filipinos.

“Hindi nakakatulong na mas pinagtuunan ng pansin iyong away nila ni Senator Trillanes. Tingin natin, iyong away nila hindi dapat nangyayari sa panahon na dapat nagkakaisa tayo (It does not help when he is more focused on his quarrel with Senator Trillanes. I think their rift should not be happening during the time when we need to be united),” she said.

“Mayroong panahon sa politika pero hindi ito iyong panahon na iyon. Panahon ito para asikasuhin iyong problema natin sa ekonomiya (There is time for politics, but this is not the time for that. This is the time to deal with our economic problems),” she stressed.

Robredo also said the Chief Executive should have had looked for a replacement for National Food Authority (NFA) Administrator Jason Aquino a long time ago since he has been part of the rice problem.

“Kapag hindi efficient sa pagsugpo ng problema, gawan na kaagad ng paraan,… Dapat sana iyong pag-iisip ng gagawin noong paumpisa pa lang iyong problema (If a person is not efficient to solve the problem, we have to immediately find ways. We should have think of the solution at the start of the problem),” she said.