MANILA - (UPDATE) The spokesman of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday rebuked Vice President Leni Robredo for criticizing his and the chief executive's statements.
Salvador Panelo said Monday Robredo always finds fault with Duterte's remarks after the vice president expressed confusion over the President's and his spokesman's announcements.
“Firstly, we talked before I issue a statement. Secondly, the problem with them is they do not listen to official statements issued by this office,” Panelo said.
"They're always finding fault to what the President says. When he makes an official statement, that is the statement," he said.
Robredo, over the weekend, said she feels that statements made by Duterte and Panelo oftentimes cause confusion among the public.
"Tingin ko hindi lang ako iyong nalilito, pero marami pang ibang tao ang nalilito kung ano ba talaga iyong gustong sabihin," she said in her weekly radio program.
(I feel that I'm not the only one confused. There are many other people who are confused over what they want to say.)
Panelo, however, assured the public that he has an open line of communication with the President when it comes to major issues.
"Important issues, we talk. If there are minor issues, we don’t," he said.
Last week, Panelo urged the vice president to be more careful in making comments on the Philippines’ legal victory in the South China Sea after she said it was “irresponsible” for President Duterte to set aside the ruling for a joint oil and gas exploration with China.
Speaking to reporters Monday, Robredo said she was just reacting to the President's statement that he is open to set aside Manila's legal victory for the joint oil and gas exploration with China.
“Ang sinasabi lang natin, pwede naman na mag-enter into agreements na hindi kailangan iset-aside 'yung issue ng sovereignty. Hindi kailangan i-give up kung ano 'yung mga karapatan na meron tayo,” Robredo said.
(What we're saying is that we can enter into agreements without setting aside the issue of sovereignty, and without giving up our rights.)
The vice-president explained Malacañang’s messaging on the issue led to the confusion.
“Yung problema lang talaga, may kalituhan kasi 'yung sinasabi ng Presidente. Parang sabi ng presidential spokesperson hindi naman 'yun ang gustong sabihin. Sinasabi lang natin, ano ba talaga ang gusto sabihin - iseseset-aside ba o hindi?" she said.
(The main problem is that there is confusion in what the President is saying. It's as if the presidential spokesperson is saying that wasn't what the President wanted to say. We're only asking what do they really want to say? Are we setting aside the ruling or not?) -with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News