MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo promised Thursday to stay true to her stance on national issues even when faced with dissent from President Rodrigo Duterte and the possibility of lower popularity ratings.
In a chance interview, Robredo emphasized that public officials must be vocal about their beliefs even if these oppose popular sentiment.
"Iyung pagiging vocal naman natin sa oposisyon, ang basis nun ay iyung paniniwala natin, hindi iyung popularity kasi maraming pagkakataon sa buhay ng isang public official na kailangan mong gumawa ng mga bagay na unpopular," she said.
"Gaya nung sa akin, alam ko na ang ating Pangulo ay very, very popular -- na anything na sabihin ko salungat sa kanyang paniniwala can cost me my popularity pero it doesn't mean na hindi ko dapat sinasabi. Kasi sa tingin ko, obligasyon kong ipahayag kung ano yung saloobin ko sa mga bagay-bagay, whether in favor iyan o hindi sa ating Pangulo."
(Our beliefs are the basis for our being vocal in the opposition, not our desire for popularity. There are many instances as a public official where you would need to do something unpopular.
Just like in my case, I know that our President is very, very popular -- that anything I say contrary to his opinion can cost me my popularity but that does not mean that I shouldn't say my piece. I think it is my obligation to express my beliefs on various issues, whether it is in favor or not of our President.)
Robredo added that she is ready to lose her popularity as she opposes the reinstatement of death penalty and the rampant killings amid Duterte's war on drugs.
The Vice President's statement comes days after the release of a Pulse Asia survey showing that her trust ratings fell seven points from 65 to 58 percent after she resigned from the Duterte Cabinet.
Robredo quit as Duterte's Housing Secretary due to "irreconcilable differences" with the President.
-- With a report from Zandro Ochona, DZMM