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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Leni Robredo’s vindictiveness and false humility a turnoff to voters

Congresswoman and Vice Presidential candidate Leni Robredo insists that she doesn’t have any ambition to seek the Presidency. She said it like harboring such an ambition is a bad thing. She brags about being the only one among the candidates who does not aspire to seek any post higher than the vice presidency. I suppose Robredo thinks her statement will make her look “humble” compared to her rivals. She’s been playing this “reluctant” candidate act from the very beginning and her tactic is starting to get old. People are starting to think she is exhibiting false modesty.

Leni Robredo: How does one aspire to be Vice President but at the same time fail to imagine being President?
Leni Robredo: How does one aspire to be Vice President but at the same time fail to imagine being President?

For one, we’ve heard it all before. Prior to agreeing to be Mar Roxas’s running mate, Robredo kept saying on record that she didn’t have any ambition to be Vice President. Now that she is in the thick of the campaign trail for her VP bid, she is saying the same thing about the Presidency. Somebody ought to tell her to quit saying things she might have to take back later on. It’s so easy for anyone to go back to what she said in the past about her stand on issues and call her out on it. She has to be consistent. Consistency is not a very common trait among Filipino public servants and she’s looking more and more like a typical one. Someone even made a comment saying that the fresh-faced Leni is starting to look like a trapo (traditional politician) because of her hypocritical statements.
Second, she’s not making any sense. Does she even know why there is a vice president to begin with? The vice president is someone mandated to act in place of the president in the event of the president’s death, resignation or incapacity. What if something happens to the President and Robredo happens to be the Vice President? Since she keeps saying she does not want to be President, she won’t be able to fill in for the President because she does not want to be in his shoes. The Philippines will be in a dilemma because of her “reluctance”. As someone asked me on Twitter, how can one aspire to be vice-president and never consider the possibility of becoming president even accidentally? I can only scratch my head on that one.
It seems Robredo cannot think too far ahead and lacks foresight. That’s not good for someone seeking the second highest government post in the land. She thinks that as the VP, she can continue doing what she wants, like continue pushing her advocacies as if she was still in Congress. But if she becomes VP, she will have to answer to the President. At this stage, if popularity surveys are to be believed, Mar Roxas won’t win the Presidency so the future Philippine President will not be from the Liberal Party. Therefore, Robredo won’t be free to bring her advocacies to a national level if she ever wins the VP post. This was even confirmed by some of Roxas’s supporters.
Because a lot of people who will vote for Robredo won’t be voting for Roxas, the latter’s supporters are reduced to begging Robredo’s supporters to vote for Roxas as well and warning them that Robredo won’t be able to implement her policies if Roxas doesn’t win. They are effectively saying that it is useless to vote for Robredo without Roxas as the President. But even if Roxas wins, he has his own agenda and it won’t necessarily be in line with Robredo’s agenda. The two running mates may appear united during their campaign sorties but the truth is, they were just forced to run together by bizarre circumstances. It is like a marriage of convenience for them. If they do not have anything in common, their relationship will break down soon enough. The campaign platform they crow about is only good on paper and will not likely be implemented just like what happened to BS Aquino’s platform in 2009.
Besides, we’ve seen enough Philippine Presidents and Vice Presidents whose relationships eventually went pear-shaped in the past. The most recent break-up is between incumbent President Benigno Simeon Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay. Binay was even considered a close family friend of the Aquinos but that didn’t stop members of the Liberal Party from mounting an attack on Binay in an attempt to derail his bid for the Presidency. Binay then attacked the BS Aquino administration, which he is still a part of, in retaliation.  
Another President and Vice President pair who went their separate ways were the late Cory Aquino and Salvador Laurel respectively. Laurel even wrote a scathing letter to Cory venting his frustration at their “fundamental differences” and the way Cory renege on the promise to be “servants of the people’s will and the people’s well being.”
The point is, the same thing can happen to Roxas and Robredo especially since they don’t have a lot in common. I can imagine Roxas must be resenting the fact that, from being plucked from obscurity, Robredo has now overtaken his popularity with the voters. The Liberal Party’s plan to use Robredo to pull Roxas’s popularity up did not work. They did not consider the fact that the voters can choose the President and Vice President separately and not as a team.
Robredo’s supporters are insisting that she is a modest and humble person and their proof is in how she uses public transport in travelling to and from her hometown. But there are people who think this is a shallow reason and are not easily impressed by that especially since she travels in luxury using jets and helicopters to campaign sorties out of town.
Robredo’s supporters need to get real. There is no such thing as a humble politician. Politicians tend to be narcissists and are full of themselves. They have to be, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to sell themselves effectively. Robredo definitely exhibits narcissistic tendencies whenever she promotes her bid for the VP post. She puts her rivals down in order to pull herself up. She doesn’t believe in winning based on her merits. She thinks she has to badmouth her rivals in order to win.
Robredo’s supporters also think she is pious. But a truly pious person will not turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed during the present administration. If she does not have the courage to speak out against BS Aquino and his cabinet members who are not performing their duties as expected of them, then she is not going to be effective in the VP post. She will not be able to “draw national attention to advocacies that need to be pushed”. The BS Aquino government has ignored a lot of the things that need attention in the provinces. The farmers suffering from drought is one of them. We have yet to hear Robredo criticize the BS Aquino government for neglecting the farmers even after the deadly riots in Kidapawan. Robredo’s silence on that matter can be considered tantamount to her condoning the government’s criminal negligence there.
It boggles the mind when one thinks of why Robredo is still sucking up to BS Aquino. He didn’t even want to confirm her husband Jesse as Department of Interior and Local Goverment (DILG) Secretary when he was alive. He died with the title “acting” DILG Secretary. BS Aquino made no secret about their fundamental differences in governance and even cited it as a reason for unnecessarily delaying his confirmation.
“There are various reasons kung bakit acting. In the case of Jesse, we had some differences during the campaign as to style. We want to make sure we can really work with each other well. It does no good to get him through the whole process of the CA only at the end of the day to find out that there might be difficulties in our working style, among others, our core philosophy, so we did agree na acting na muna,” Aquino said.
In short, BS Aquino did not believe in Jesse Robredo. It was even reported that he was about to file charges against BS Aquino’s buddy former DILG undersecretary Rico Puno for various complaints that reached Robredo. Puno was also criticized for breaking into his apartment as soon as news broke that Jesse’s plane was missing. It was rumored that Puno wanted to get “sensitive” documents containing information pertaining to an investigation on Puno and some Philippine National Police officials. Leni even had to ask the Justice Department to secure her husband’s condominium after the break-in:
Robredo’s wife, Atty. Leni Robredo, admitted to the press in Naga that she herself had made the request that their apartment be secured.
According to a report by ABS-CBN’s Anthony Taberna on TV Patrol Thursday, September 6, Leni Robredo had asked for heightened security after she was notified that Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico Puno tried to enter Robredo’s condominium and offices in the National Police Commission and the DILG, both in Quezon City.
It was only after Jesse died that the President and the rest of the Liberal Party members started praising Jesse Robredo’s name. This was after they observed the public’s growing sympathy for Jesse. The Liberal Party have certainly made up for their past indiscretions against Jesse by elevating his widow’s status. I guess all is forgiven now that the Liberal Party is helping Leni become Vice President. It turns out she wants the power associated with the post. She thought she’d have us all fooled when she said she is not ambitious.


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