So, you want Robredo to be President

31

Ricardo Saludo

WHEN Vice-President Leni Robredo and her three daughters dine in Malacañang with President Rodrigo Duterte, one possible dinner topic is the anti-drug campaign. Not the users and traffickers killed, arrested or surrendered, nor the value of narcotics seized and labs dismantled.

Rather, President Duterte may let the VP read the thick dossier he has been brandishing at speeches, saying: “This is the illegal drugs industry of the Philippines.”

The folder contains names and positions of hundreds of alleged narco-politicians and other officials, including judges, who are believed to be in cahoots with syndicates.

The VP may recognize a good number of bad eggs in the list, including partymates, election supporters, and even respectable personages in the country. There may also be dozens of barangay leaders and police officers.


The dinner host may then ask: “You tell me, Madame Vice President, how are we supposed to stop the syndicates using normal due process, when they have all these people in their pocket?”

“We are both lawyers,” the former Davao prosecutor may add. “You and I know how long it takes to prosecute one case, even if the judge is honest. And if the police, the prosecutor, or the magistrate is crooked, then the pushers are back on the street, plus the murderers, rapists, robbers, and kidnappers.”

Or the President might just say: “If you have a sure-fire way to stop the drug lords and all these government scalawags helping them, I’ll step down now, and you take over.”

To which the VP would surely demur that she does not aspire for the presidency.

Duterte might then reply: “Fine, but what about the people behind you, including those in this folder? And if they get me out, what will they do to you? Will they let you continue the war on drugs, crime, corruption, smuggling and tax evasion?”

What if Robredo takes over?
That’s really the question for Robredo and the good-hearted ones among her backers. With drug syndicates, narco-politicians, even laglag-bala and other sleazy schemers wanting Duterte out, not to mention the Liberal Party unhappy with LP stalwart Senator Leila de Lima being jailed, will Robredo really rule if Duterte goes?

Will the global narco-cartels, whose tentacles reach from America to Asia and Europe, let Robredo pursue a crushing anti-drug campaign, or will she revert to the old ways that allowed syndicates to flourish and turn Manila into a leading international trafficking hub?

After all, it was under the LP’s leader, then President Benigno Aquino 3rd, that crime tripled from 324,083 incidents in 2010 to more than a million a year since 2013, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority.

Helping that explosion of lawlessness was a similar trebling of smuggling as measured by International Monetary Fund trade data. The total amount of imports undervalued or undeclared leapt from $7.9 billion in 2009 to $26.6 billion in 2014.

In that unprecedented flood of contraband, more than 2,000 cargo containers disappeared in 2011 alone, with no investigation ordered by Aquino. Imagine how many guns and narcotics can sneak in on just one 40-foot box? That’s almost surely how entire drug labs got in, along with billions of pesos worth of narcotics and firearms.

Can Robredo assure the nation that the powerful forces behind all that crime, corruption and contraband, including the narco-politicians on Duterte’s drug list, would not climb back up the political ladder?

Can she maintain the greater feeling of safety that 82 percent of Filipinos now have, based on Pulse Asia’s recent survey? Or will murders and rapes go back above 9,000 a year, robberies to 60,000, thefts to 170,000, and physical injuries to 225,000, as reported by government statisticians in 2014?

As for the economy, can Robredo replicate Duterte’s drive to get the government machinery revving up spending and implementation to levels unheard-of under Aquino? Or will she echo the latter’s pride in leaving office last June with P1 trillion in budgeted funds unspent, stalling massive infrastructure and social services?

Matching Duterte’s ‘winning hand’
Turning overseas, can Robredo match what the Washington Post reported this week in its article, “Duterte plays a winning hand with foreign policy, but will his luck run out?”

The top US paper reported: “Since his electoral triumph last summer, the man famous for cursing foreign leaders and calling for mass killing seems to be raking in the cash for Manila. A tidy $24 billion in deals with China. Fresh billions from Japan. Not to mention the tens of millions in military and development aid the United States sends each year — despite his call for a ‘separation.’

“Courting the President of the Philippines are new friends such as China, which last week sent a vice premier to Duterte’s home town, and Russia, which recently dispatched two warships to Manila on a goodwill visit. …

“Old partners such as the United States and Japan might bristle at Duterte’s rhetoric and rights record, but they are willing to speak softly because they need his help countering Chinese claims to most of the South China Sea.”

Would Robredo stay that independent course in foreign policy, reaping tens of billions of dollars in aid, investment, trade and tourism, plus military cooperation instead of conflict?

Or would she revert to her mentor Aquino’s rabidly anti-China, pro-American stance, and turn the Philippines into the US military platform in Asia under his Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement?

This week, without any UN video, President Duterte rose to the top of early online polling for the cover subject of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people issue < http://time.com/4707432/2017-time-100-poll-results/ >.

That may show not just the global coverage he drew with his strong language and foreign policy turnaround, but also the way his bold stance in the face of Western pressure resonates with developing nations also wanting to assert their views and ways against American and European finger-wagging and meddling.

Yet certain groups want to replace Duterte with Robredo. Maybe they’re popping what they push.

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31 Comments

  1. It is worth sharing, I’ve gotten to think too what will really happen to our beloved country if our dear president will step out on its presidency. It’s a fair article.

  2. Just wondering if Robredo is as naive as you presume OR do tribal relations (in this case, LP tribe) take the front seat in Philippine politics?
    Just wondering what being Chair Of the LP means to her and how that might be in cross purposes with the good of the country.

  3. If Robredo wil be president, it will be a downfall again for Philippines. LP will be in power for she is just a puppet of that party.PRRD is trying his best to clean his “backyard” and look what she did? She did not even check the facts she mentioned on the video. It’s a big NO NO for me.

    • agree sir! just like Noynoying same Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo smirking like a dog or smiles like Judas Escariote whenever confronted or in a troublesome situation Leni Tawa Tawa Robredo will just smile with her red lipstick on and when there is war with China her daughters will just move to New York fast. so why Leni why? Try asking Millenials if they would go to Edsa with you Leni??? Try Edsa Again Luyang Dilaws try with Millenials if coming with you try???

  4. I sincerely believe that VP Robredo is not ready for the presidency and she might never be during the term of President Duterte. A sudden presidency of Robredo will jeopardize the war against drugs which could be the best achievement of the president.

    But the credibility of his drug war in my opinion has been destroyed by his diabolical obsession to have De Lima in jail. It is this obsession that has made him trust the words of convicted drug lords, that made him to blatantly lie on several occasions that he was losing 2 policemen a day, that without factual basis he announced at the start that there are 3 million addicts which has increased now to 4 million addicts, that 40% of our Barangay officials into drugs when It is quite clear that outside of our congested urban centers much of our rural communities don’t have serious drug problems.

    The war on drugs could be the major legacy of President Duterte. But he should be honest with himself that De Lima is not the big mama of our drug industry. Because of his obsession most of his men are now guilty of disgusting intellectual dishonesty. In my opinion, because of the jailing of De Lima, we are the laughing of the international community.

  5. I could not see anything positive for the PHL in Robredo’s presidency. She will be “run over” and another “mafia” like will rule PHL…and so will enhance of PHL becoming a “failed” state, basket case and remain a “third world” country because of continuously becoming more divisive as ever. Its really a “dimmer” prospect PHL will be. Just look on her pronouncement, speeches, answers on interviews and her actual demeanor—no leadership and bereaved of authenticity. No genuine platform and no long term plans/goals for the country. NADA!!!!

  6. Faith Mercado on

    We need a strongman who loves his country and his people; who sets his face like flint to bring about change that makes a strong country and a stronger people ..and we finally got one! Need I say more?

  7. Well said and done. Forget impeachment for both the Pres & VP, it will be just a waste of time not only for both lower & upper house but for all Filipinos that will watch the hearings live. The current administration are just fulfilling their campaign promises – and thet are on the right track, most agencies are doing their mandate especially DAR & DSWD, traffic and congestion still exist at Metro Manila .. they will need to construct a road around Metro Manila either through reclamation. Better if they will maximize usage of airport outside MM – one at Clark, two or three in the south. Let us help our country to continue rising and improving the way of our life, we can do this by helping ourselves & neighboors to continue working for our community. Never mind who sit on the throne wether we support them or not. If we observed that by doing their promised platforms unlawfully, then we must gather hard evidence at all cost to pinned them down & justice will prevail. Do not just talk, talk, ka talk with out facts – you will just end up sore graping & alone.

  8. Hindi nga ba’t mali mali ang listahan ni Dgong regarding narco politics….ilan beses syang nag-apology kasi mali ang listahan nya…at yang listahan nya provided ng mga tsu tsu sa paligid at pinaglalagay ang LP na nagimbistiga sa mga PDAF nila lalo na yong mga nakulong na mga Senador……Di nga ba’t sila Gloria, Enrile, Napoles nag re-resbak kay Senator De Lima dahil na hirapam sila sa panahon ng Plunder cases nila….so ito na harass ng husto si Senator D5 at nakakulong….ganyan din ang listahan ng Narco Politics ni Dgong……kaya yan ay parang listahan lang ng utang sinulsulat dahil gusto makaganit???????

  9. We are experiencing a strong right kind of leadership we never had before. However, there is also a strong constantly nagging opposition trying to turn off the light at the end of the tunnel. Such a real bummer in the name of human rights from all angles. Regardless of what they say, we should be happy because we found a bold president who is willing to fight what is right and the truth. Can Leni duplicate this act? I bet there are too many strings attached to her that she will only get tangle up and cannot move the Philippines forward. Plus, if one can notice, she is indecisive and careless. Unqualified presidential stuff.

  10. Thanks for this article. I bet the author did not get an envelop for this.

    But what can be done to contribute in fighting the culture of incompetence and corruption?

    How about form an anonymous organization to take in reports of evils deeds from government and private sectors staff and make quite investigations and audits?

    For instance, where to report the attempts of telco, meralco servicemen to extort before they render installation and maintenance service? unsafe products sold everywhere? deliberate bad service from government offices to extort, get bribe?

    Maybe we all help to support such an independent organization, clean, non partisan, objective (not run by greedy partisan media operators); to perform some the the functions of failed ( sit-in-the-office-and-rake in-bribes) regulators like dti, erc, lto, etc. Consider it a small but active support from citizens in fighting a pervasive disease in the country.

  11. Why are you Mr. Saludo, presuming the questions that the president would be asking madam Leni during the dinner invite together with her children? This is presumed to be a peace offering by the president and not a political conference. The president is just too proud, considering his position, to call it as an apology, and madam leni realizes it as such and would refrain from pursuing it further than just a friendly family dinner. Let us not complicate matters and allow these two have a good and peaceful dinner.

    • Why are you, Mr Sian assuming that this is an effort to apologize to a nutcase VP who just painted a horrible picture of the PH to the international community? This is but a move of the President to do damage control of her doings and not make the world think that the PH is a total chaos.

      Kudos Mr Saludo for this write up

  12. LP are the only ones complaining. Where can you get an 82% APPROVAL on campaign against drugs? not even during the combined terms of presidents since Cory.

  13. I hope the LP and the camp of VP leni can read and reply to this article. Instead of propagating a misinformed data of 7,000 SUMMARY EXECUTIONS Daw! Wherein fact mas malala pa pala ang patayan nung panahon ni Panot!

  14. Once this fake VP assumes the presidency. All hell will loose, it will be non stop rally on the streets and kudetas worst than Cory’s term. She cannot handle the presidency. It will be a disaster.

  15. Why gamble again with a female president? Never again! Removal of the VP by impeachment can pave the way for the Senate president ….. …..

  16. Making her the President would stupidity….

    Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over and over again while expecting a different result everytime.

    She is a spent force and doesn’t even have the caliber of a politician. She fits more of an actress than a politician.. although in Philippine politics there seems to be no delineation between the tow.

  17. Just don’t trust the SURVEYS days and months ahead they will be singing out
    of tunes again.

  18. As stated in the book of Daniel 2:21 “It is God who alters the times and seasons, and he removes kings and promotes kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”

    It is God who put Duterte in the position as our President. It’s God’s will not by men. Though he was not my first choice but I have full respect on him as our leader and trust him to govern our nation. I continue to support and pray for him until the end of his term. So far, he is the only president who has simple lifestyle. God bless Mr Duterte and our Country.

  19. Of course the LPs want Robredo to be president. So they can take over and enjoy all they want as in “happy days are here again”. That’s been their agenda all along. The future then is bleak for the 82% of the Filipino people. Bleak as dark as night. Only the people can stop them from succeeding in their nefarious plan.

  20. Beautiful! What a clear way of putting things in order. Thank you, Mr. Saludo. I hope Ms. Robredo will see how difficult it is for her to do what PRRD has been doing for our country today. I pray that she will be guided by the Holy Spirit to let love of country and humility be over and above the cravings for power and false image of fame that would surely bring our country down again.

    • Well said. Thank you. We can only pray that God will protect the good forces (Pres. Duterte and his supporters) from the evil ones (Liberal Party and supporters especially New Yorker Loida Nicolas Lewis).

  21. Just a fair thought of the matter for those who really cares what the Philippines needs. The filipino people are so lucky to have hired the right president who heartily wants to do the job for the country. Wishing good luck to those who wants Duterte out. Please stop it. Let him do the job as mandated by the votes of the majority.

    • Best way of putting it. Not sure why others refused to admit PRRD is the right person to lead the country.
      A Good column.