MANILA -- Malacañang on Monday insinuated that Vice President Leni Robredo was "politicking" as it cited her latest trust and approval ratings, compared to that of President Rodrigo Duterte, whose coronavirus pandemic response she had criticized.
A Pulse Asia survey released Monday showed the approval ratings of Duterte and Robredo at 91 percent and 57 percent, respectively, in September.
"Naku, Madam VP, mukhang tama ang aking sinabi: Ayaw 'ata ng Pilipino na namumulitika sa panahon ng pandemya," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing.
"Subukan po nating itigil ang pulitika, baka po tumaas nang mataas sa 50 percent ang trust rating at mataas pa po sa 57 percent ang performance rating," he added.
(Madam VP, it seems that my statement is right: The Filipinos do not like politicking during a pandemic. Let's try to refrain from politics, and perhaps your trust rating will go above 50 percent and your performance rating, above 57 percent.)
The Vice President earlier gave suggestions to the education department on distance learning and to the inter-agency task force on the coronavirus response. Robredo, an economist, later gave a speech on rescuing the economy.
But Duterte claimed in August that Robredo would "just destroy government." He told her: "Please do not add fuel to the fire."
The Vice President last week had urged Roque to refrain from issuing "polarizing" statements that divide instead of uniting Filipinos during the pandemic.
Atty. Barry Gutierrez, spokesman of Robredo, said Roque's remarks about Filipinos not being in favor of politicking during the pandemic is correct.
"Kaya nga karamihan pa rin ng ating mga kababayan suportado pa rin si VP Leni. Malinaw kasi na kahit katiting ang budget ng opisina, patuloy ang panlalait at paninira, at panay ang pagpakalat ng fake news sa Facebook laban sa kanya -- nagtratrabaho pa rin siya para sa kapakanan ng marami," Gutierrez said of the Vice President.
(That's why majority of our fellow countrymen still support VP Leni. It's because, despite the limited budget of her office, the continuing insults and bad-mouthing, and the proliferation of fake news against her on Facebook, it's clear to them that she continues to work for the benefit of many people.)
Gutierrez thanked Filipinos who continue to acknowledge the service of Robredo.