'Huge insult': Robredo slams Duterte claim Naga was a 'hotbed of shabu'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 18 2018 01:23 PM | Updated as of Aug 18 2018 04:58 PM

Vice President Leni Robredo and President Rodrigo Duterte. Composite

NAGA CITY- Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday called a "huge insult" President Rodrigo Duterte's claim that her hometown Naga City was once a "hotbed of shabu." 

Robredo explained that the President's remark was a slap in the face of former and incumbent local officials who have worked hard to improve the city.

"Sa'kin kasi insultong napakalaki nun sa mga taga-Naga. Alam natin 'yung effort na ginagawa para maging maayos ang ating pangalan," she said on the sidelines of 6th death anniversary of her late husband, former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, who served as Naga City mayor. 

"Hindi perpekto 'yung ating lungsod, maraming problema pero para sabihing hotbed tayo, malaking sampal 'yun sa mukha ng lahat ng nagpapagod para itaas hindi lang 'yung bandila ng Naga para linisin ang pangalan," she added.

(For me, it's a huge insult to the people of Naga. We know the efforts being done to keep our name clean. Our city is not perfect, there are many problems. But to say that the city is a hotbed, that's a huge slap on the face of everyone working hard to raise Naga's flag and to keep the city's name clean.)

The President in a speech last Tuesday said Robredo's bailiwick was once a hotbed of shabu, as he belittled anew the leadership qualities of the vice president.

Robredo lamented the President's remarks saying it has no basis at all and urged him to criticize only her. 

"Ako na lang sana 'yung siraan kasi kung ako naman 'yung puntirya ako na lang, kasi walang ibang madadamay ako lang. Para sabihin mo 'yung Naga tayo 'yun lahat eh," she said.

(If I am the target, then just criticize me instead of including others. When you say Naga that includes all of us.)

The local Naga City Council has also passed a resolution condemning the President's remarks.

"Hindi natin ito ite-take sitting down kasi unang-una hindi totoo kasi kung totoo ito, tayo pa 'yung yuyuko para humingi ng tawad," Robredo said.

(We will not take this sitting down because in the first place, this is not true. If it's true, we will even bow down to apologize.)

Naga City Mayor John Bongat earlier said the city government would still validate Duterte's statement that the city was once a hotbed of shabu.

Dangerous Drugs Board Chair Catalino Cuy has also said the President's claim is still up for verification by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

-report from Rizza Mostar, ABS-CBN News