Robredo argues against incumbents using their posts for political gains
An incumbent Vice President of the country should perform the duties required of that position instead of promoting any personal dream of becoming President while still in office, Camarines Sur representative and vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo said on Monday.
Speaking at a forum for vice presidential candidates at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City, Robredo made the statement in what observers saw as an apparent jab at Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay is the standard-bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance in next year’s elections.
“The Vice President should not have the ambition to become President. Otherwise, this kind of Vice President will not accomplish anything and will just use the position for political gain,” the congresswoman said.
Robredo, the bet of the Administration-backed Liberal Party (LP) for Vice President, shared the hot seat with Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who is running for the same position as an independent.
The widow of the late Interior secretary Jesse Robredo argued that a Vice President should be able to call attention to advocacies that have been neglected and not be content with just being a “spare tire.”
“The Office of the Vice President calls a lot of attention, and this presents an opportunity for somebody to bring the government’s anti-poverty programs to far-flung areas…so that the government can take action on the needs of our people,” Robredo said.
“I am ready to affix my signature to a document stating that I don’t have ambitions to be President,” she added.
Escudero, who considered running for President in the 2010 elections, downplayed the possibility of him gunning for that post next year even if his running mate, Sen. Grace Poe, is facing multiple disqualification cases before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Escudero and Poe are both frontrunners in pre-election surveys and enjoy a sizeable lead over the rest of the field.
“The Vice President should have the aptitude to be in place of the President, not only in cases of unforeseen circumstances but every time the President is abroad to perform the functions of a Chief Executive. That’s in our Constitution. But I don’t really know if my time [to run for President]will come or will still come. What I know is that the time is not now,” Escudero said.
His presidential run six years ago under his former party, the Nationalist People’s Coalition, was halted by the rise of then Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd who gained massive support after the death of his mother, former president Corazon Aquino.
Aquino went on to win the 2010 elections.
“Just like what Ma’am Leni said, it is important for the Vice President to work in tandem and be ready to perform the functions of the President because the President won’t be able to make a stop in every part of the country. The Vice President is there to give attention to the matters that the President cannot attend to anymore because the Chief Executive has so many jobs,” Escudero said.