By Raymund Antonio
Vice President Leni Robredo has refused to play President Rodrigo Duterte’s political games following his latest tirade against her.
Robredo, who is the leader of the opposition, shrugged off Duterte’s most recent salvo of insults, where he once again belittled her capability to rule the country.
“Unang una, iyong 2022, ang layo pa. Asikasuhin na muna natin iyong drugs, kasi ito iyong pangako. Ito iyong pangako; hindi pa nga naaayos, iniisip na naman natin iyong susunod na eleksyon,” she said on her weekly radio show.
(First of all, 2022 [the next presidential election] is still far off. Let us first deal with the problem of illegal drugs, because this is what was promised. It has not been addressed yet, and already we are thinking of the next elections.)
“Mag-concentrate muna tayo sa trabaho, kasi ang dami pang kailangang ayusin,” she added. (Let us concentrate on our jobs because there are many things that need to be fixed.)
The Vice President, who was removed by Duterte from her post as anti-drug czar, was asked to comment on his disparaging remark that she should not run for president.
“Don’t run for president, you know nothing,” the Chief Executive told Robredo in an interview with CNN Philippines.
“Look for someone else. If you put her there, it will be a disaster. I’m telling you,” Duterte said.
The President hurled expletives at Robredo, 54, who chairs the opposition Liberal Party, after he fired her as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) last month.
Duterte was dismayed with Robredo over her consultations with foreign organizations critical of his drug war instead of local authorities involved in drug enforcement and rehabilitation efforts when she headed the anti-drug body.
When she found herself at the receiving end of Duterte’s tirade, Robredo noted she was indeed the “flavor of the month.”
“Ilang oras na iyong dinevote sa akin ni Presidente para tirahin lang. Pero iyong sa atin, never tayong nagre-respond sa kabastusan. Never tayong nagre-respond sa mga bagay na hindi naman makakabuti. Pero kung may kasinungalingan na sinabi, sasagutin natin iyan,” she said.
(How many hours did the President devote to me just to attack me? But we never respond to rudeness. We never respond to things that won’t do us good. But if there are lies, we will respond.)
On Monday, Duterte stepped up his attacks on Robredo, claiming that his other reason for sacking her from the ICAD post was due to his fears “she would mess up.”
But Robredo politely declined to address the issue in an interview with media on the sidelines of the Angat Buhay Youth Peace Summit held in Quezon City.