The camp of presidential aspirant Vice President Leni Robredo apologized for the technical difficulties they experienced during Friday’s KBP presidential forum and promised to do better next time.
Robredo’s spokesman Barry Gutierrez said on Twitter that internet issues hindered Robredo’s participation in the forum during the first part when she skipped two questions because of network issues. The forum’s panelists eventually asked their questions after a few minutes.
“I feel your pain, guys. We all want to see VP Leni at her best and internet issues get in the way of that. That she was in a borrowed office is no excuse, and if you need someone to blame, blame me. That hate will be motivation to make sure this won't happen again,” he wrote with hashtag #LabanLeni2022 (FightLeni2022).
Robredo was supposed to fly to Siargao for the turnover of housing materials to the victims of Typhoon Odette there but she decided to postpone their flight to lunchtime so she can attend the forum.
However, that also meant borrowing an office near the airport to participate in the virtual presidential forum. This caused technical difficulties that she had to use a landline to hear the audio clearly.
Gutierrez said this is a learning lesson for the team, who Robredo said earlier advised her to cancel their flight to Odette-hit areas. She declined because she wanted to do the groundbreaking ceremony for the housing projects before the official campaign season on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
“Dalawang bagay na maaasahan ninyo: 1. Anumang hirap, maghahanap kami lagi ng paraan (Two things you can rely on: 1. However difficult, we will find a way). 2. We learn from mistakes, and we will do better,” he tweeted.
Jeff Crisostomo, Dinagat Island’s public information office head and who is a vocal supporter of the Vice President, took to Facebook to voice his sentiments.
Dinagat is one of the hardest-hit by the typhoon and one of the many areas that Robredo initially visited a day after Odette struck. The presidential aspirant, the lone female candidate this May 2022, was also scheduled to revisit Dinagat.
“May mga galit na galit na kesyo bakit daw hindi maayos ang paghahanda ng kampo ni VP Leni kanina para maayos ang signal. Sorry, kasalanan naming mga nasalanta ng bagyo sa Caraga (Some are very angry because they are questioning VP Leni’s camp readiness about the signal. Sorry, the fault is ours in Caraga who were devastated by the typhoon),” he wrote.
If Robredo did not push to visit Caraga Region in Mindanao, Crisostomo said viewers would have a better time watching her in the forum.
“Pasensya na na nawasak 'yung mga bahay namin sa isla kaya ginawang priority ni VP na matuloy sana ang groundbreaking para sa mga bagong komunidad na itatayo niya today. Sorry ha. Hindi po ito kasalanan ng staff niya. Kami na lang po ang sisihin ninyo (We apologize that our houses in the island were destroyed so VP has to make the groundbreaking ceremony to build the new houses a priority. We’re sorry. This is not the fault of her staff. Just blame us),” he added.
Robredo posted afterward that her team was able to visit Siargao to turn over housing materials. However, in a reply to Crisostomo, she said they couldn’t go to Dinagat on Friday, Feb. 4, because of the weather but promised to try today, Feb. 5.
Aica Dioquino, one of Robredo’s close-in staff, expressed her admiration of the Vice President for remaining calm and being able to answer the questions thrown at her during the forum despite the glitches.
“Sabi nga ni Leni, wala siyang hamon na inaatrasan (As Leni said, she hasn’t backed down from a challenge). And this was no different. Babawi at mas pagbubutihin pa (We will make it up and will do better). On to our next adventures. They wouldn’t know what hit them,” she said in a Facebook post.