We don’t want gov’t to fail, because it’s all of us who will suffer and die — Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Contrary to administration supporters’ mindset that opposition groups are out to undermine and destroy the government, Vice President Leni Robredo clarified that they do not want such a scenario because it would gravely affect the Filipinos.
In another public address about the government’s COVID-19 response on Monday, Robredo explained that what she and her office really want was to extend a helping hand to the administration by providing inputs for improvement.
Robredo has made several suggestions as the country grapples with the health crisis, but her ideas were misunderstood as nitpicking on the government — with President Rodrigo Duterte himself implying that the Vice President is hell-bent on pointing out the flaws in whatever they do.
“Ididiin ko: Gusto lang naming tumulong. Ayaw naming mabigo ang gobyerno, dahil kapag nabigo ang gobyerno, tayong mga Pilipino ang magdurusa, tayong mga Pilipino ang magkakasakit at mamamatay,” she explained in her pre-recorded address that was streamed on her Facebook account.
(Let me emphasize this: We just want to help. We do not want the government to fail, because if the government fails, it is us Filipinos who will suffer, us Filipinos who will fall ill and die.)
“Malaki ang problema, kaya dapat lahat tayo may puwedeng i-ambag. Hindi ito panahon para ipagdiinan ang hidwaang Administrasyon o Oposisyon. Sa panahong ito, ang mahalaga, Pilipino tayong lahat,” she added.
(The problems we face are great, and this is precisely why we should all be able to pitch in. This is not the time to harp on the divide between Administration or Opposition. What’s important, especially during this time, is that we are all Filipinos.)
Robredo did not mention it, but President Duterte highlighted during his last public address on September 21 that people should not listen to the “dilawan” — a term coined for the opposition in reference to the Liberal Party’s colors.
In a recent radio interview, Robredo also lamented that Duterte as President could have been more unifying rather than widening cracks between political parties.
In the same address, Robredo also clarified that she believes that the government wants to solve the pandemic and is actually trying to. However, she quickly pointed out that good intentions are not usually enough.
“Naniniwala pa rin ako sa mabuting intensyon ng pamahalaan, kabilang na ng mga nasa matataas na katungkulan. Ngunit sa bigat ng ating kinakaharap, hindi sapat ang mabuting intensyon. Kailangan strategic at organized ang pagkilos,” she noted.
(I still believe in the good intentions of the government, including those in its highest positions. But given the gravity of what we face, good intentions are not enough. We need strategic and organized action.)
“Dahil sa kabila ng mabuting mga intensyon, hindi maikakaila ang katotohanan: Maraming Pilipino ang patuloy na nagkakasakit […] Alam nating lahat ito; lahat tayo, may kakilala nang pumanaw, nagkasakit, nabaon sa utang, o nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa pandemya. Ito ang simpleng katotohanan, at kung gusto nating baguhin ang trajectory ng bansa, kailangan nating harapin ito, at maging bukas sa lahat ng kaisipan, lahat ng mungkahi […],” she added.
(Despite the good intentions, we cannot deny this truth: More Filipinos continue to get sick. More can be done; more gaps can be filled. All of us know this; we all know someone who died, or fell sick, or got buried in debt, or lost a job because of the pandemic. This is a simple truth, and if we want to change the trajectory of our country, we have to face this truth and be open to all ideas, to all suggestions.)
Robredo has raised a myriad of suggestions, from giving poor Filipinos a monthly subsidy to intensifying testing efforts, placing internet hubs for students to attend online classes, prioritization of local products and PPE manufacturers, and other economic reliefs for micro, small, and medium enterprises.
Although Robredo has acknowledged that several of her recommendations were enacted eventually, these were not taken easily by the government.
Previously, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said that it seems Robredo is always looking at the administration’s efforts in a pessimistic manner, like a half-empty glass. Robredo retorted by saying that they are trying to fill up that half-empty response.
Then in April, when the Office of the Vice President (OVP) was busy setting up donation drives to purchase personal protective equipment (PPEs) and COVID-19 testing kits, former Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Manuelito Luna said that Robredo must be investigated for receiving illegal solicitations and competing with the national government. [ac]
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