VICE PRESIDENT Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo on Friday said she wants President Rodrigo Duterte to take good care of himself so he could finish his six-year term.
Robredo made the statement after Duterte’s son, acting Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, bared that Davao City—the President’s hometown—was facing increasing threats from self-declared followers of the Islamic State, which the military however has downplayed.
Duterte himself also downplayed the supposed threats on Thursday before flying to Davao City, and added that Robredo was there anyway to succeed him.
“Ang sabi ko naman, `wag naman, Mr. President. Kailangang mag-ingat ka kasi kailangan ka ng bansa [I said to him, don’t say that, Mr. President. And that he should take care because the country needs him]. I would say all those who voted for him, as well as the rest of the voters, would want somebody who won the elections to finish his term,” Robredo said.
A day after accepting the President’s offer for her to join the Cabinet, Robredo said she wasn’t surprised at all when Duterte asked her to lead the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
“I wasn’t surprised because he already told me that he wants me to be a part of the Cabinet,” Robredo said, referring to her conversation with the President in a courtesy visit to Malacañang last Monday.
“Ako naman, `di naman ako umuurong sa trabaho o sa kahit anong posisyon na ibigay sa akin na makakatulong ako” [As for me, I don’t back down from a job or any position where I can be of help],” Robredo added.
The job, held by previous vice presidents Jejomar Binay and Noli de Castro, however, won’t be smooth-sailing.
HUDCC records showed that the housing backlog in the country stood at 1.4 million houses, and an additional 5.5 million homes would be needed in the coming years.
“1.4 million houses means 1.4 families, and they vary. Some are calamity victims, some are homeless, some are residing in dilapidated houses that are not fit to live in. Of course, at the end of six years, if I will be holding the post for six years, I want to satisfy that backlog,” Robredo said.
Robredo said she would streamline the process of housing applications, in keeping with the President’s directive to make government transactions easier for the public.
Robredo also said she was fully supportive of Executive Order No. 1 which put 12 agencies, including the HUDCC, under the supervision of Cabinet Secretary Leoncio “Jun” Evasco Jr.
“I don’t mind reporting to anyone as long as we get the job done,” Robredo said.
Robredo met with HUDCC officials Friday evening at her office in New Manila.