Leni says Duterte first year is mix of successes, shortcomings
Vice President Leni Robredo on Friday characterized President Rodrigo Duterte’s first year in office as a mixed bag of successes and shortcomings, though she refused to give an explicit rating for his performance.
“I think it would be unfair to the President if I were the one to grade him. For me, there were many positive things and there were many shortcomings as well, though we can work on those shortcomings together,” she said in Filipino.
Asked to elaborate on Duterte’s shortcomings, Robredo did not give a specific answer, speaking only in generalities about the many challenges facing the nation.
“The government always has many weaknesses. With the great needs of our people, no matter how hard-working you are, no matter how many you have helped, it would still not be enough,” she said in an interview during a visit to a poor community in Pateros, a transcript of which was sent to reporters.
“That’s why it’s important to help each other out because the government cannot bear all the burden,” Robredo said, adding that she was trying to fill the gaps with her own Angat Buhay program for indigent communities.
The Vice President has in recent weeks taken a reconciliatory tone toward the Duterte administration following her criticisms against the war on drugs, among other issues.
Robredo, the nominal chair of the Liberal Party, used to be part of Duterte’s Cabinet as the housing secretary until she quit in December over policy and political differences and expressed her intent to be the voice of the opposition.
Asked to rate her own performance, Robredo said it would be difficult for her to do as she would be “biased.”
“Probably, we are not lacking in industriousness, but because of the number of the people we need to help, it is not enough. Though we are spending a large chunk of our time to go down [to the communities] there’s never enough time,” she said.
“Which is why for me, we want to inspire others to help. There’s no excuse for us to fail if we cooperate with one other,” said the former Camarines Sur congresswoman. JPV
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