By Raymund Antonio
If Vice President Leni Robredo has a piece of advice for President Rodrigo Duterte after his threat to declare a revolutionary government, she would tell him not to let his emotions get the better of him.
After all, Robredo said in her Sunday radio show, “BISErbisyong Leni,” they are public officials whose statements are taken as “policy” once made public.
“Iyong trabaho namin talagang maraming kahirapan, marami talagang magtetest sa aming pasensya, maraming frustrations, marami kaming gustong gawin na hindi ganoon kadaling gawin dahil sa mga circumstances. Hindi dahil doon, hindi iyon ang nagbibigay sa amin ng lisensya para magsabi ng kung anong gusto naming sabihin kasi iyong sinasabi naming parating may epekto sa ating bayan,” she said.
(Our work really has many difficulties, many would test our patience, we have many frustrations, and we have many things to do that are not easy because of the circumstances. Not because of that, it gives us the license to say anything because our statements have always an effect to our country.)
The opposition leader spoke of the sensitivity of Duterte’s public remarks after he threatened to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, arrest critics, and declare a revolutionary war until the end of his term.
At the annual convention of prosecutors in Puerto Princesa City, the Chief Executive was visibly irked by Senator Franklin Drilon’s advice to his administration to exercise caution on reviewing all government contracts.
The Vice President described his comments as “irresponsible” because he threatened his own people by declaring something that is unconstitutional.
Robredo reiterated that Duterte would be violating the Constitution and abandoning his oath should he make good on his threat.
“Kaya kailangan responsable iyong pagbibigay ng statements, kailangan hindi dinadaan sa init ng ulo. Iyong mga karapatan na binibigay sa amin, iyong mga pribelihiyong binibigay, iyong mga responsbilidad na binibigay sa amin, hindi dapat iyon naaabuso,” she said.
(The reason why we have to be responsible in giving statements, we should not be hot-headed. Our rights, the privileges and responsibilities being given to us should not be abused.)
“Iyon dapat nagagamit para sa kabutihan ng lahat, hindi iyong dahil uminit lang iyong ulo namin, kung anu-ano na iyong gagawin naming para takutin iyong taumbayan,” Robredo added.
(Those should be used for the betterment of everyone, not because we get hot-headed, we would do anything to threaten the people.)
The Vice President said Duterte is expected to be careful with his words since his remarks were always to be construed as official declarations.
“Kahit parang casually na binigay, parang policy na iyon kasi iyong susundin ng mga nakapailalim sa kanya, kaya kailangan parating maingat sa binibitawang salita,” she said.
(Even he issued a statement casually, it looks like a policy because the people under him would follow it, that’s why he must be careful with his words.)