‘Tasteless’ remarks won’t affect work— Robredo
The tempest stirred by President Duterte’s remarks about ogling Vice President Leni Robredo’s knees will not affect her work, according to her camp.
“No, not at all, because for the Vice President, these storms only encourage her to keep serving and do better work as the Vice President and chairperson of the HUDCC (Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council),” her spokesperson Georgina Hernandez said.
In an interview with local media in Naga, a transcript of which was sent to Manila reporters, Hernandez said the Vice President trusted that a similar incident with Mr. Duterte would not be repeated in the future.
“We expect and Vice President Leni expects that these incidents will not happen again,” she said.
On Tuesday, Mr. Duterte, speaking at an event to commemorate the third anniversary of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) in Tacloban City, said he used to check out the Vice President’s knees during their Cabinet meetings.
He said she must have noticed him ogling at her as she would avoid being seated with him at the table. “I wanted to tell her, ‘Ma’am maybe next time you just wear shorts…But after our third meeting, she was already there at the far end of the table. I lost the view during the Cabinet meeting,” he said.
Robredo later released a statement expressing offense at Mr. Duterte’s words.
“Tasteless remarks and inappropriate advances against women should have no place in our society. We should expect that most of all from our leaders,” she said.
Hernandez said the Vice President was “heavily affected and worried” as a result of the President’s teasing.
“We know Vice President Leni has always been a defender of the rights of women, and for her, this sort of remarks against women are not acceptable,” the spokesperson said in Filipino.
“For Vice President Leni, women should be respected, especially by our leaders, and we should not make laughing stocks of women,” Hernandez said.
Mr. Duterte on Wednesday chastised the media for reporting “triviality” like his jokes about Robredo’s knees, saying he considered his words to be “appropriate.”