Not fit for president? Spox says VP Leni ready to lead

Published February 16, 2021, 12:13 PM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo is ready to lead the country, her spokesman said on Tuesday, amid the latest tirades from President Rodrigo Duterte.

Atty. Ibarra “Barry” Gutierrez (Barry Gutierrez Facebook page)

In a radio interview, lawyer Barry Gutierrez said that through her actions over the past 11 months since the COVID-19 outbreak, VP Robredo has always shown her leadership as a public servant.

“Nako naman, ‘di ba, klarong-klaro naman mula Day One ng kaniyang pagiging Bise Presidente na handang-handa na si VP Leni. Kitang kita naman natin: noong panahon na mabagal ang takbo ng ilang programa ng ating pamahalaan patungkol dito sa COVID-19, si VP Leni ang kumilos (Oh my, isn’t it very clear that since day one of being the vice president, VP Leni has been very ready. We can clearly see that: during the time that the government was slow in their response against COVID-19, it was VP Leni who took action),” he said.

The spokesman said Robredo, despite her office’s meager budget, was the one who raised P60 million from the private sector to provide half a million units of personal protective equipment (PPE) to different hospitals. 

The vice president also initiated the free transportation for frontliners in Manila and Cebu City when public transportation was halted because of the lockdown, he cited.

“Ngayon, kung sasabihin ni Presidente iyan dahil hindi siya sumasang-ayon sa ibang posisyon ng ating Bise Presidente, ibang usapin iyon. Pero kung kahandaan lang ang pinag-uusapan, tingin ko naman klaro ang kakayahan ni VP Leni (Now, if the President is saying that he does not agree with some of our Vice President’s positions, that’s a different matter. But if we are talking about readiness, I think it is very clear that VP Leni has the capabilities),” he said.

The Robredo camp is saddened by Duterte‘s mockery and personal attacks against the vice president whenever she speaks her mind on government policies.

In a pre-recorded public address aired late Monday night, Duterte said Robredo should “study more” if she wanted to become president, as she was obviously not aware of her role in government.

“Every time she opens her mouth, she forgets that she is lawyer,” the Chief Executive said of Robredo in his address from Davao City.

“You’re really not qualified to run as president. You do not know your role,” he told Robredo.

Duterte’s fresh rant against Robredo stemmed from her “extortion” comments after the President said the United States should pay if it wants to keep its Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) with the Philippines. 

Apart from Robredo, Duterte also slammed Senator Panfilo Lacson for his criticisms in his VFA threat.