Robredo’s suggestion to Duterte: Learn to accept criticism
A day after President Rodrigo Duterte mistakenly claimed she was removed from his Cabinet for “joining ouster rallies,” Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday denied ever taking part in protests against him and suggested that the President learn to take criticism.
“I am not aware, much less am I involved in, any effort to ‘oust’ the President. Furthermore, I categorically deny joining rallies that called for the President’s ouster,” Robredo said in a statement posted on Twitter.
“Criticism is not conspiracy, and the administration is well advised to stop seeing ‘plots’ behind every unflattering news report, irate citizens’ assembly, or angry Facebook post,” she said.
Robredo, the highest ranking Liberal Party member and its interim chair, quit her Cabinet post as housing secretary early this month after she was told via text message to stop attending Cabinet meetings.
On Thursday, Duterte said her removal from his Cabinet was due to her participating in rallies calling for his ouster.
Robredo did not actually join any mobilization rallies against Duterte, only issuing statements opposing some of his decisions, including the burial of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani, and his bloody war on drugs.
Since resigning from the Cabinet, the Vice President has emerged as the central opposition figure and intends to consolidate the LP as the dominant opposition party, though many of its members in Congress still belong to the Duterte-led supermajority.
“The President and I both took an oath to uphold the Constitution and I take this very seriously,” she said in her statement.
Robredo advised Duterte to respect criticisms leveled at him.
“It is the right of every citizen in our democracy to express her opinion, and this includes those critical of or in opposition to an incumbent government. This principle is a cornerstone of our free Republic,” she said.
She also reminded the President that the grievances against him were caused by his own words and actions.
“To my understanding, many criticisms of the President have come about as a reaction to his own actions and statements — the Marcos burial at Libingan ng mga Bayani, the ongoing extrajudicial killings, the proposed restoration of the death penalty, and the retreat from our West Philippine Sea claims, among others,” Robredo said. CDG/rga