Lawmaker on VP Sara’s lack of respect for her: The feeling is mutual
MANILA, Philippines —ACT Teachers party-list Rep. France Castro on Friday said that if Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte says she does not have respect for her, then the feeling is mutual.
Castro, during the Makabayan briefing on Friday, said that while she may also have no respect for Duterte, she respects her office — the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
Castro added that she hopes Duterte can respect her office, too, by answering questions hounding OVP, particularly regarding the use of P125 million worth of confidential funds in 2022.
“Well, maybe the feeling is mutual, but we respect the OVP. Maybe for her (Duterte) personally I don’t, maybe we have this mutual feeling towards her,” Castro said in Filipino.
“That’s why we are telling her (Duterte) before that if she at least has respect for herself and her office, she should also respect our right to raise questions and to clarify matters. Because she had the chance to explain during the budget briefings, but she avoided it,” she added.
Castro also urged Duterte to answer their questions anew, claiming that the Vice President has resorted to spreading lies about her instead of addressing the issue head-on.
“So I hope she will answer this and not say other things unrelated when she’s outside Congress. There is a time and a venue to answer our questions on the confidential funds. So, my answer to her is that the feeling is mutual. We also don’t respect her,” she noted.
Duterte, over the past few days, has questioned Castro’s qualification to determine the presence of wrongdoing in the release of confidential funds to OVP, noting that she is neither an auditor nor a lawyer.
The Makabayan bloc said that the OVP should not have any confidential funds for 2022 as its original budget, crafted during the time of former vice president Leni Robredo, did not have a line item for CIFs.
Duterte maintains that a Commission on Audit investigation would clear them from any alleged wrongdoing.
In an interview in Davao City, Duterte said that she singled out Castro and Senator Risa Hontiveros — lawmakers who both quizzed the OVP about the confidential funds — because she has no respect for the two.
Hontiveros on Thursday said he is not asking Duterte to respect her, as she is only after accountability.