Robredo: Fight vs poverty not a competition
Vice President Leni Robredo fired back at her critics on Wednesday for insinuating that she was out to usurp the role of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), saying the fight to rid the country of massive poverty was not a competition.
“The OVP believes that ending poverty should not be seen as a competition, but a collaboration by all capable parties,” read a statement issued by Robredo’s spokesperson Georgina Hernandez.
“Nobody has the monopoly of good intentions, the desire
to serve the public, and models of how to address poverty,”
Hernandez, in an apparent reference to the NAPC, said the goal of antipoverty advocates should not be the “glorification of any individual or group, but the empowerment of the Filipino family.”
Though Robredo refrained from mentioning anyone specifically, her statement came after Anakpawis Rep. Ariel Casilao accused her of “usurping the mandate” of the NAPC, which is chaired by former Gabriela Rep. Liza Maza, also of the Makabayan bloc.
The leftist Makabayan bloc is allied with the Duterte administration, while Robredo won the vice presidency on the ticket of Liberal Party candidate, Mar Roxas.
On Tuesday, Casilao said Robredo was “playing good girl” to foreign agencies and big businesses. He also accused her of undermining Duterte’s push for an independent foreign policy when she defended the country’s relationship with international donors.
Afraid to starve
This came after the NAPC’s social media accounts posted messages that insulted Robredo and her supporter, actress Agot Isidro, who had grabbed
headlines for a post criticizing Mr. Duterte and calling him a “psychopath.”
The NAPC post, since deleted, said the two women were “both afraid to starve.”
But Hernandez said it was always Robredo’s dream “to have a Philippines that is free from poverty.”
“This has been her advocacy long before she became a politician, a dream that was shaped by her years as a community organizer, NGO worker, and lawyer for poor Filipinos,” she said.
Hernandez said “Angat Buhay,” a comprehensive antipoverty initiative of the Office of the Vice President, was but one of the many effective solutions Robredo hoped to use “to build our nation.”
She said that politics should take a backseat in the fight against poverty, which Robredo had recently described as a “larger war” than the government’s antidrug war.
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