MALACAÑANG cannot simply discard Vice President Leni Robredo like dirty laundry and expect her to keep her mouth shut.
A few days after she was fired as co-chair of the Inter-agency Committee Against Illegal Drugs (ICAD), Robredo yesterday took a dig at President Duterte, saying it’s always easier to blame others than to be a good leader.
“The challenge really is how to find your light in the midst of darkness, how to find solutions in an environment where the limitations given to you are just too much. Ang pinakamadali kasi is to pass the blame on others (the easiest thing to do is pass the blame on others),” Robredo said in a speech at the graduation rites of the participants of the Angat Buhay Young Leaders program held at her office in Quezon City.
Robredo said a good leader will find a way through all obstacles and will not allow anyone to stop him from doing a good job.
“Ang pinakamadali kasi ipasa, ‘di ba? Parating… Ano naman iyon, human nature iyong ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.’ Parang we always wish for what is not. Human nature iyon. Kahit ako, ganoon din. Pero iyong challenge sa atin, paano natin lalabanan iyong human nature natin na iyon. Paano natin lalabanan iyong we allow forces external to us to hamper us from the things that we want to do (It’s easiest to just pass it to others, right? It’s human nature to say that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. We always wish for what is not. That’s human nature. I’m also like that. The challenge is how we can fight that human nature. How can we fight the urge to allow forces external to us to hamper us from the things that we want to do),” she said.
Robredo said leaders who blame their bosses for not being able to inspire or motivate them to do a good job are “not true leaders.”
“Pero ang tunay na leader, magsasabi, ‘Kahit uninspiring iyong aking boss, ginagawa ko pa din nang maayos iyong trabaho ko.’ ‘Kahit napakahirap, ginagawa ko pa din nang maayos iyong trabaho ko’ (But a true leader will say, even if my boss is uninspiring, I’m still doing a good job. So, no matter how hard, I’m still doing my job),” she added.
Chief Presidential Legal Counsel and presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the “tirades and threats” made by Robredo was expected following her removal as co-chair of the ICAD last week.
“Res ipsa loquitor (The thing speaks for itself ). Her tirades and threats following her unceremonious but deserved firing is unsurprising. There is no greater fury than a woman scorned,” Panelo said in a statement.
Panelo said Robredo’s “fall from grace” can aptly be described by the Spanish word “merece” which means “be worthy of.”
Panelo said President Dueterte gave Robredo a chance to help improve the administration’s campaign against illegal drugs but she wasted the opportunity.
“She was given a lamp by PRRD to illuminate her way, but she carelessly broke it and she is back to where she was, groping with a blind vision. Despite her non-performance and obstructionist perorations against the President, the latter has performed exceedingly well, and the Filipino people have stamped with a very good satisfaction rating,” he said.
Panelo added that despite Robredo’s criticisms against the President, the public continued to support him and approved his performance unlike the Vice President who “has consistently rated very low in the surveys”.
Panelo has earlier said Robredo’s “services” as ICAD co-chair was terminated “in response to the suggestion of Liberal Party president Sen. Francis Pangilinan to just fire the Vice President from her post.”
The President on Saturday said the Vice President has yet to do something since being named as ICAD co-chairman. He designated Robredo as drug czar only on October 31. The Vice President accepted the post on November 6 but has yet to meet and talk to the President about the scope and functions of her work at ICAD and as drug czar.
Robredo earlier warned the administration that she was not one to back down from a good fight, saying “she’s just getting started.”
“Kung sa tingin nila matatapos ito dito, hindi nila ako kilala. Nagsisimula pa lamang ako (If they think it’s going to end here, then they don’t know me. I’m just getting started),” she warned in reaction to Duterte’s decision to fire her as ICAD co-chair.
Robredo has also promised to make a report to the public on her “discoveries” about the government’s war against illegal drugs and give her recommendations on how to improve the campaign.
Meanwhile, Philippine charity Sweepstakes Office Director Sandra Cam challenged Robredo to reveal what she knows about the government’s war on drugs.
Cam said that if Robredo was serious in helping solve the drug problem in the country, she should cooperate with the national government rather than throw criticisms at it.
Cam said that even if Robredo’s discoveries can be used as evidence against the current administration, the Vice President should reveal these for the sake of the public.
However, Cam expressed serious doubts that Robredo was holding any evidence against the President and said she was most likely bluffing when she said she was making a report of her discoveries during her brief stint as ICAD co-chair. – With Jocelyn Montemayor and Christian Oineza