CRITICS on Sunday slammed Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo for spending the holidays on a “multi-state” vacation with her three daughters in the US, as thousands of her fellow Bicolanos fled their homes because of a typhoon.
Blogger “Thinking Pinoy,” a diehard supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, accused the vice president of abandoning her fellow Bicolanos ahead of a calamity.
“A supertyphoon is about to hit Bicol in a few hours. Can Leni realistically tell Bicolanos, sorry, I can’t be your
leader today because I’m too heartbroken. If Naga indeed brings back too many painful memories, there’s Pili, there’s Iriga, there’s Daet, there are too many drastically cheaper alternatives to a vacation in the United States,” the blog post read.
The vice president and her daughters were said to have stopped spending Christmas in their hometown Naga since her husband, interior and local government secretary Jesse Robredo, died in a plane crash in August 2012.
“Someone said Leni Robredo went on a Christmas vacation in the United States because spending the holidays in Naga City brings back too many painful memories of the late Jesse Robredo. I personally wouldn’t have cared where she spends her holidays, but last time I checked, she’s all for modesty of public servants,” the blog pointed out.
“A multi-state vacation in the United States doesn’t come cheap. She takes a bus to and from work, but she spends hundreds of thousands (or even millions) during her days off? What if she ditched her opulent vacation and used the money for domestic plane fare so she can spend less time traveling and more time listening to her constituents?” it added.
Another Duterte diehard blogger, Mocha Uson, ridiculed the vice president’s vacation.
“White Christmas for Madam. Bicol Region will be hit by a typhoon and she (Robredo) is having a vacation in the United States,” Uson wrote in her Facebook post.
But for Facebook user Claudia Gomez, the bloggers should stop making mountains out of molehills because Christmas is a time for people to spend quality time with their loved ones.
“Why are you overreacting? If she wants to spend her holidays with her family and sister in the US, there’s nothing wrong with that. Everyone’s entitled to spend the holidays with their family, same as you and everyone else,” Gomez said in the comments section of the Mocha Uson blog.
Gomez argued that the vice president cannot stop a typhoon, and that local government units are the ones responsible in looking after their constituents. Camarines Sur Gov. Miguel Villafuerte and Naga Mayor John Bongat are on top of the situation and have evacuated people to safety, she added.
Gomez then decried the bloggers’ double standards, since they did not make a fuss over the President’s big delegation of about 100 people during his recent foreign trips.
“Imee and Bongbong Marcos were with President Duterte in China even if the typhoon ‘Lawin,’ much stronger than Nina, has been battering their hometown in Ilocos Norte and yet you did not complain about that. Be fair,” she added.
Imee is the Ilocos Norte governor and Bongbong is defeated vice-presidential candidate Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Facebook users Daniel Jaime, Josh Siat and Jessica Bathan shared Gomez’s sentiments, noting that the President’s supporters did not cry foul when Philippine National Police Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa was in the United States to watch the boxing fight of Sen. Manny Pacquiao in the middle of the investigation of the police killing of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
“You guys are so unforgiving, even in Christmas. Government officials are not banned [from having]a vacation with their family,” Jaime commented.
Bathan wrote: “Mocha Uson, you are so petty. Bato was in the US for Pacquiao fight and everybody deserves a vacation. But when it is the vice president having a vacation, suddenly it is not okay?”