MANILA—Vice-President Leni Robredo on Tuesday said President Rodrigo Duterte missed elaborating on certain issues during his State of the Nation Address.
Robredo said she agreed with the President's push for proposed measures, such as the National Land Use Act, the coconut farmers' trust fund, and ending contractualization, among others.
But the Vice President said she was not fully satisfied with Duterte's speech on Monday. One part she disagreed with was his take on "human lives."
"Pero nakulangan. May mga bahagi na hindi tayo sang-ayon," Robredo said during a book launch in Quezon City.
"Halimbawa iyong sinabi niya na, 'Kung kayo pinaglalaban niyo iyong human rights, ako iyong pinaglalaban ko iyong human life.' Hindi tayo sang-ayon doon kasi di ba iyong karapatang mabuhay, iyon iyong pinaka-pangunahing karapatang pantao?"
Robredo said there is no difference between human rights and human lives.
"Hindi naman iyon magkasalungat, hindi naman iyon magka-kompetensya. Para sabihin na pinapahalagahan iyong human life pero iyong human rights hindi, mali yata iyon," she said.
"Pangalawa, alam natin na sa kaniyang anti-drug war, napakarami nang namatay. So parang mahirap sabihin na pinapahalagahan iyong buhay ng tao, na marami na ngang buhay iyong namatay dahil lang sa anti-drug war. So doon hindi ako doon sang-ayon."
In his speech, Duterte said human rights advocates cannot sway him to discontinue the illegal-drugs war with protests.
"If you think that I can be dissuaded from continuing this fight because of demonstrations, your protests, which I, by the way, find misdirected, then you got it all wrong. Your concern is human rights, mine is human lives," he said, drawing applause from the audience.
"Human rights, to me, means giving Filipinos especially those at the society's fringes, a decent and dignified future through social and physical infrastructure necessary to better their lives and freedoms," he added.
Robredo added that she expected the President to discuss the status of Marawi rehabilitation and inflation, among other national issues.
"Nakulangan tayo sa maraming bahagi kasi inaasahan sana natin, una, parang report, ano ba iyong status ng mga bagay na ito?" she said.
"Halimbawa iyong inflation, parang iyong discussion sa inflation, to a large part nag-concentrate lang sa mga rice cartels, pero walang discussion masyado kung ano pa ba iyong ibang factors na nag-contribute sa inflation."
Robredo also hoped that the President would elaborate on the government's plan to defend its interests in the West Philippine Sea.
"Halimbawa, iyong West Philippine Sea, sinasabing ipapaglaban, pero hindi natin alam kung paano, paano ipapakipaglaban iyong sovereignty natin. Hindi niya iyon na-discuss," she said.
"So iyong mga detalyeng ganoon, iyong expectations sana natin, dahil alam na, ‘di ba, iyon iyong... iyon iyong hinihintay ng tao, sana nabigyan ng mas mahabang detalye."