VICE President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo won’t heave a sigh of relief yet even if President Rodrigo Duterte had assured her that she would finish her six-year term.
“When I heard about it, I said, thank you. But I wish that such reassurance would not only happen today. I wish it could be given as the days, months and years go by,” she said.
The President made the statement during the groundbreaking rites for a new international airport for the Bicol region, which delivered the votes for Robredo in the May polls. Robredo hails from Naga City, Camarines Sur, which is part of the vote-rich region.
Robredo added: “Otherwise, it creates an uncertainty when there’s…you know… the Marcos camp are always there; creating buzz that they will take over by 2017. I wish the President will take it upon himself to reassure the public that it won’t happen.”
The vice president quit the Cabinet as housing czar on Monday after being told to stop attending Cabinet meetings over “irreconcilable differences” with the President.
Pesident Duterte initially refused to name Robredo to a Cabinet post because he did not want to hurt the feelings of defeated vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., a key ally.
Robredo beat Marcos by 263,473 votes in the May election.
Robredo argued that contrary to the President’s claim of limited dissent, opposing views were not loud enough not because they were not united.
Robredo earlier said she was willing to unite the voices of dissent to Duterte’s policies, especially on the death penalty, lowering of the age of criminal liability and the burial of former strongman Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
“I am not losing hope. If we make our voices loud enough, if we are passionate enough about our dissent, we could be heard. We have to be decisive in opposing policies,” Robredo added.
Cayetano hits VP
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, a staunch Duterte supporter, on Friday called on Robredo to focus on finding ways to help the country instead of thinking about the presidency.
He also urged the vice president to ask news outfits that supported her during the campaign to look into her donors and undeclared expenses.
“There’s much more, but in a nutshell I challenge you to stop campaigning and thinking of The Presidency and help attract investments, build infrastructure, create jobs and redistribute wealth in our country,” Cayetano said.
Robredo denied that she was aiming for the presidency.
“I am not interested in being the President and I have always said that. I don’t have such dreams. I want this administration to succeed. But for this administration to succeed, it is also important for them to hear dissenting voices,” Robredo told reporters on Friday.