Duterte's admission of favor, friendship-based appointments 'shock' Robredo

Published September 3, 2021, 4:39 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Vice President Leni Robredo said she was “shocked” to hear straight from President Duterte that his bases for appointing people in high posts in government were favors and friendship.

Vice President Leni Robredo (OVP photo)

“Na-shock nga ako na (I was shocked that) the President himself admitted na favor-dispensed (that he dispensed favors),” opposition leader Robredo said during an online interview on Friday afternoon, Sept. 3.

“Hindi naman malayo na mag-aappoint ka dahil kilala mo ang taong ito. Pero ina-appoint mo siya hindi dahil kaibigan mo, kundi ina-appoint mo siya dahil tingin mo, siya yung best person for the job (It’s not farfetched for you to appoint someone you know. But you shouldn’t appoint someone because he is a friend, you appoint him because you think he is the best person for the job),” she said.

Had she been been the president, Robredo said she would make appointments “on the basis of merit”.

In his “Talk to the People” public briefing last Aug. 31, Duterte admitted and defended his choice of appointing individuals who helped him during his presidential campaign and/ or those he knew from his native city of Davao. These include his “fraternity brothers”.

“When I was elected, they applied, of course, I would accept their applications. I know them and I trust them, and just like I trust all the other people appointed from Davao City,” Duterte said.

Robredo says it’s Duterte’s responsibility to the Filipino people to pick the right people for the government posts.

“Hindi yung pag nag-presidente ka, and may vast appointing powers, hindi ito yung magbibigay ka ng favors left and right (You shouldn’t use your vast appointing power to give favors left and right),” she noted.

“Kasi ang obligasyon mo, sa taumbayan…obligasyon mo na ang ia-appoint mo, competent, qualified. Sa akin secondary yung kaibigan mo kasi or tinulungan ka kasi (Your obligation is to your countrymen…it’s your obligation to appoint those who are competent, qualified. For me, friendship and favors are secondary),” the Vice President added.