VICE President Leni Robredo yesterday played coy about her political plans for the 2022 presidential elections and said it was still too early to discuss the possibility of her representing the Liberal Party especially amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) health crisis.
“It would not seem right for me to engage in politics now in the face of this tremendous hardship, right?” Robredo told anchor Ely Saludar in Filipino on her weekly radio program “Biserbisyong Leni” aired over RMN.
Robredo stressed the 2022 national elections should be the last thing on everyone’s mind “because we need to channel our energies to find ways to help those who need it.”
She said there is still more than a year before the May 2022 elections and “let’s talk about it when it’s close.” “But right now, we don’t want to be distracted, we don’t want to be distracted from what we’re doing. The right time will come,” she said.
Last week, Robredo’s supporters posted a petition called “I am ready for Leni” on the global petition platform Change.org. The petition sought to raise funds in anticipation of the Vice President’s 2022 campaign.
Robredo however appealed to her supporters to raise funds not for her presidential campaign but for poor families most affected by the pandemic.
“Not now. Because if we do a fund-raising, it should be for those who are suffering now. To me, Ka Ely, the time may not be right. It’s not the right time to raise fund while we’re in the middle of this tremendous crisis,” Robredo said.
Robredo said that while she appreciates her supporters for their trust in her, she would advise them to hold their horses and let her finish her job first on the ground before deciding whether to seek higher office or not.
At the same time, Robredo taunted pro-administration internet trolls who are projecting her as a 2022 losing presidential bet, asking them why they were wasting time trying to discredit her if they do not really perceive her as a viable threat to the administration’s would-be standard bearer.
“They say she’s at the bottom of the surveys, she’s nothing and she has no chance of winning so why waste time on me?” she said. “Why are you spending money (on trolls)?
They’re spending a lot, Ka Ely, because many (trolls) are profiting from it,” she said.
WHY SO RUDE?
The Vice President also slammed presidential spokesman Harry Roque for displaying rudeness in reacting to her criticisms about the government’s lackluster performance in responding to the pandemic.
“We don’t deserve rude public servants, we don’t deserve those that are so arrogant,” said Robredo, who earlier advised the administration to stop its propaganda and improve its COVID-19 response.
Robredo made that comment after the country ranked 79th of 98 countries that were rated by an Australian think-thank Lowy Institute for their pandemic response performance.
Roque earlier said it was unfair for Robredo to call the work of healthcare workers and frontliners as “propaganda,” a comment which the Vice President said was in itself a classic example of the administration’s propaganda.
Last Friday, Roque said that the administration was able to “beat” COVID-19 among others, telling critics: “Manigas kayong lahat!”
“I don’t want to answer this anymore,” Robredo said. “But what is this? All the data are there. Just open your eyes and start looking for solutions.”