Robredo a potentially good leader–Lacson
“A potentially good leader of our country.”
This was how Sen. Panfilo Lacson described Vice President Leni Robredo, in response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s remarks calling her “incompetent.”
On Tuesday night, the President clarified that his bid to step down when the country transitions into a federal form of government was for the country to elect a transitional leader, and not for Robredo to succeed him.
“I don’t think she can ever be ready to govern a country. Reason: incompetence,’’ he said.
Lacson, an administration ally, disputed this.
“It is difficult to measure her performance since she was removed from her Cabinet position,” Lacson said in a text message to reporters on Wednesday.
“One thing going for her, though, is her apparent and genuine concern for the less fortunate sector in our society, which to me is one solid foundation as a potentially good leader of our country,” he added.
The senator said it was “unfortunate” that Robredo had been sidelined “considering that she was elected along with the President.”
Regardless of party affiliations, he said, the two top officials of the land “should be working together for our country’s sake.”
Robredo was appointed housing secretary in the early days of the Duterte administration but was compelled to resign in December 2016 over policy differences with the President.
On Tuesday, Robredo declared that she was now prepared to take on the role of opposition leader, a role that, Lacson said, “she should have defined much earlier or right after she was taken out of her appointive position.”
Robredo on Wednesday also took on the President, saying that “instead of insulting me or God, he should have taken care of the problems of our economy first.”
Said former Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez III, legal adviser of the Office of the Vice President, in a statement: “Incompetent? Look who’s talking.”
‘Pinoys not allowed’
He added: “Inflation: 5.2 percent. Rice: P42 [per kilo]. $1=P53.51. Increase in national debt: P1.19 [trillion]. Our seas: Pinoys not allowed. Traffic: only getting worse. Killings, seem to occur day by day.”
Even without a Cabinet position, Robredo “has marshaled partners … to extend P252 million worth of aid for 155,000 families through her Angat Buhay program,” Sen. Kiko Pangilinan said.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the President was speaking as one who has certain standards on the competence of a public servant, having had almost 30 years’ experience in government.
“The President was just stating what he had in mind. So let us respect that,” Roque said in a radio interview. —With reports from Vince F. Nonato and Christine O. Avendaño
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