Panelo raps Robredo for not ‘walking the talk’ on political campaigning

Published March 31, 2021, 2:17 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Vice President Leni Robredo is a “walking contradiction” over her alleged inconsistent statements about the 2022 elections, according Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo

Panelo called out Robredo for initially declaring it was wrong to dwell on the 2022 elections during the pandemic, but has recently been discussing the polls. The vice president even ventured into campaigning “either for herself or the opposition” with her recent pronouncements about the elections, he added.

“Sabi niya it’s a sin to think of elections. Hindi lang siya nagti-think ngayon, talagang hinahain niya ang pulitikang eleksyon at sinasabi niya na pag-usapan natin (She said it was a sin to think of elections. Now, she’s not just thinking about, she’s presenting the political elections and saying we must talk about,” he said during his “Counterpoint” program March 31.

“Tingnan mo na ang inconsistency mo, Ate VP Leni. (Look at your inconsistency, VP Leni). You’re a walking contradiction my dear friend,” he added.

Panelo mentioned Robredo’s interview on March 16 when she claimed it was a sin to think about the polls when a lot of people were suffering during the pandemic. At the time, Robredo claimed she had no plans yet for the 2022 elections.

But in an online interview on March 26, Robredo said people must talk about the elections since there was too much at stake. “Para sa akin, pag naghiwa-hiwalay tayo, baka ang resulta nito (If we will not unite, the result may be) another six years of this kind of governance. Kayanin pa kaya natin (Can we really bear with that)?” said the opposition leader who has been critical of President Duterte’s pandemic response.

Panelo took a swipe at Robredo, saying she was now “singing a different tune.”

“Nagsisinungaling ka talaga. Hindi ka nag-iisip ng eleksyon, ginagawa mo na nga. Oh ayan. Ngayon binaliktad na niya sarili (You are really lying. You’re not just thinking about the elections, you’re doing it. You’ve contradicted yourself),” he said.

“She’s talking of elections and effectively campaigning either for herself or the opposition,” he added.

Panelo was also having doubts about Robredo statement that she was not supposedly interested in running in next year’s elections. “Tell that to the Marines,” he quipped. 

On Robredo’s claim that people should not lose interest in the polls just because she may not run at all, Panelo sneered at the vice president for making such presumption.

“What do you think of yourself? Masyado mo naman binigyang ng premium ang sarili mo. Bakit naman mawawalan ng interes ang sambayanan kung hindi ka tatakbo VP Leni? (You’re giving yourself too much premium. Why would the nation lose interest if VP Leni won’t run?)” he said.

Robredo recently said she was open to forging alliances with groups to form a united opposition in the 2022. The vice president however has remained mum if she will run for president or a local post in her home province of Camarines Sur next year.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon recently said Robredo was the most qualified to become the country’s next president.

Drilon, vice chair of Liberal Party, said they would leave it for Robredo to decide if she will throw her hat in the presidential ring. “The matter of running is a personal decision,” he said in a television interview Tuesday, March 30.