Robredo bashers to be arrested too? Spox says they don’t mind, VP not distracted
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo and her office would rather put their efforts into solving problems brought by the COVID-19 pandemic than paying attention to threats and bashers, her spokesperson said on Thursday.
According to lawyer Barry Gutierrez, Robredo has already endured different forms of insults in her almost four years at the office and was never distracted by it.
Gutierrez’s statements came after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) assured that they will also go after people who have threatened Robredo — after arresting a high school teacher who offered a bounty of P50 million to anyone who would kill President Rodrigo Duterte.
“VP Leni is focused on working to help our fellow Filipinos struggling to cope with the hardships brought about by Covid-19 and the ECQ. We would rather spend our time and energy helping, rather than paying any attention to mean posts on social media,” Gutierrez said in a statement.
“She’s endured this many times in the last four years, and she has never let it distract her from the real work that needs to be done. And this holds true even more during this time of crisis,” he added.
NBI made this declaration on Wednesday after people on social media asked why only Duterte was given protection when it appeared that Robredo endured more harsh messages — from Duterte’s supporters.
Gutierrez said that they would not stop the bureau from conducting investigations.
“If the NBI believes that this is really the time to go after people posting on Twitter and Facebook, that is their decision,” he explained.
Law enforcers appeared to be on a crackdown on people criticizing government officials including Duterte and his long-time aide and now Senator Bong Go. Earlier, a salesman in Agusan del Sur was arrested by police personnel for saying on social media that Go is playing hero and that Duterte is a “crazy” person.
This move from the government earned the ire of netizens and opposition groups, with ACT party-list Rep. France Castro slamming supposed double standards as Duterte — who has openly talked about killings and disrespecting women — has never been made accountable.
Earlier, the Commission on Human Rights said that the right to free speech of people must be ensured even during a pandemic, although they also warned the public that free speech is not absolute and has limitations.
On Robredo’s part, her Office of the Vice President has their hands full with helping the government with its COVID-19 response, crafting several programs during the enhanced community quarantine over Luzon due to the outbreak.
They mounted donation drives to fund personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health workers, while providing them free shuttle and free dormitories. OVP also worked with other private organizations in providing food packs to street dwellers and other frontliners.
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