Robredo says decision if she's fit to lead rests on the public, not Duterte

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 16 2021 09:44 PM | Updated as of Feb 16 2021 10:07 PM

Robredo says decision if she's fit to lead rests on the public, not Duterte 1
President Rodrigo Duterte talks to Vice-President Leni Robredo during the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) graduation ceremony in Camp Castaneda, Silang town in Cavite City on March 24, 2017. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters/file

MANILA — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said it is not up for President Rodrigo Duterte to decide whether she is fit to lead the country or not, as that decision rests on the public. 

During her press briefing on the Presidential Electoral Tribunal's (PET) decision junking Bongbong Marcos' electoral protest against her, the Vice President said it is important for the nation's leaders to work together as the pandemic continues. 

"Hindi naman siya (Duterte) ang magde-decision kung qualified ako o hindi pero yung taumbayan ung magde-desisyon," said Robredo. 

'"Yong sa akin lang, makakabuti sa ating lahat kung nakikinig. Pag nakikinig sa mungkahi, nakikinig sa pagpansin sa ibang mga polisiya,” she added. 

(It is not up to him [Duterte] to decide whether I am qualified or not. It is up to the public. For me, it is important if everyone listens to the plight and concerns on policies.) 

Duterte, in a public briefing Monday, criticized Robredo and Sen. Panfilo Lacson after the two blasted him regarding his supposed "extortion" style of negotiations on the Visiting Forces Agreement with the United States. 

He claimed Robredo can't be the country's chief executive because of how she was acting. 

But Robredo brushed this off, and said that other nations' leaders listened to others' opinions and even consulted with them.

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"Ang makakabuti sa ating lahat, nakiking... 'Yong mga leaders na marunong magkunsulta, yung mga leaders na marunong tumanggap ng mga pagkukulang, yung mga leaders na marunong making sa mas consultative, mas maayos yung response,” she said.

(It will be better for us to listen, and it will be better for leaders to consult and accept criticisms, and become more consultative for a better response.) 

Her suggestions for the government, however, were met with insults instead. 

"Ako nalulungkot ako na yung response sa ating mga mungkahi ay pagi-insulto. Pero sa akin hindi ko naman 'yun kontrolado, ang kontrolado ko lang yung gagawin ko. Nakakalungkot. Pero tayo sige lang. Hindi tayo nagpapa-apekto dun,” she said. 

(I am saddened that our response were met with insults. I cannot control those, I can only control what I do. I am saddened by this, but we still persist, we do not let ourselves be affected by that.) 

Robredo aired the same sentiment late last year when she urged the country's leaders to hear the plight of Filipinos on the ground and to build “deep and authentic” connections as the country continues to fight COVID-19, and as it reeled from the rampage of typhoons. 

She cited how a “gap in humility" helped the rise of populist demagogues who weaponize these types of engagement to their favor. — With a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News