Current Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo proved how clueless she is once again with her statements. During a recent press conference, she expressed concern over the negative ramifications of President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirade against the United States of America and European Union. While Duterte’s negative attitude towards some members of the international community leaves some people baffled, Robredo’s reasons for wanting to keep the peace is also quite disturbing. She said the Philippines relies heavily on the international community for aid and that Duterte’s harsh words could “strain” the relationship. She is worried that antagonising the international community would make them cut-off the “help” the Philippines has been receiving.
It seems Robredo’s worry that Duterte’s words could damage international relations is more about getting “aid” and less about earning respect from foreigners.
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I don’t know if Robredo is being forced by her party mates from the Liberal Party to speak out against Duterte or if she does it on her own but, either way, she seemed scared of “offending” Duterte and was being very careful with her words. It was as if she was actually nervous while she was speaking. She used safe words like “incident” in referring to Duterte’s actions and hopes that things will improve for the better in the near future. She also admits to praying that nothing bad will happen and by that she means the Philippines becoming isolated from the outside world and not getting any aid at all.
Robredo is obviously not ashamed of being a moocher. She doesn’t have any qualms about admitting that the Philippines is not self-sufficient and has to rely on other people’s help outside of the country to survive. She’s acting like someone who has gotten so used to getting dole-outs that she doesn’t feel the need to work hard to become more independent. No wonder she is scared of being abandoned by the international community.
Robredo should be supporting the idea that the Philippines needs to try and stand on her own two feet once and for all. Robredo’s attitude is typical of a lot of Filipinos. They are too scared to fend for themselves. Filipinos won’t know what they are capable of doing unless they try doing things on their own. This is also the reason why altruism among Filipinos is low because most Filipinos think that the international community will come to our aid when disaster strikes anyway. Perhaps if Filipinos do not have anyone to rely on, they will be more willing to help each other. Besides, there are more than enough rich people in the Philippines to pool their resources to help out when the need arises.
Having said that, there is no need for Robredo to worry about not getting aid from the international community anyway. Most countries have portions of their national budgets allotted to international aid. The reason they have budgets for helping out other countries mostly from the Third World that are suffering from disasters is to avoid crises further developing into humanitarian catastrophes. It is in their best interest to avoid this because they want to avoid having to accept refugees. Just look at what is happening to the Syrian refugees. Most countries are not willing to accept them now.
Robredo should have more pride though. She should know that it is embarrassing to have to ask for help every time the country is hit by a natural calamity. As a politician, she should know that if not for corruption, the Philippines would have enough funds and resources to mobilise its own rescue operation when disaster strikes. Unfortunately, due to reliance on international aid, local Filipino politicians do not prioritise acquiring state of the art equipment and training its people to be ready for emergencies.
Robredo is also showing her own ignorance of the impact of being too reliant on international community for help. She doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that some people from other countries are also questioning the amount of funds their own governments are giving to the Third World. Foreigners are getting tired of giving aid to people who don’t use the funds they give properly. They are aware of the fact that corrupt government officials only pocket the funds instead of using these for relief and rehabilitation.
Just look at what happened to the donations given after the devastating super typhoon Haiyan that hit Tacloban City in Leyte. Goods just rotted away inside Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) warehouses. And despite billions of pesos appropriated for rehabilitation, basic utilities like water and electricity are still lacking three years after disaster struck. In her own words, Robredo even said that out of the 205,000 houses needed to be built, only 25,000 were completed. She should ask her former running mate Mar Roxas what happened.
Honestly, Robredo doesn’t seem to be aware of the fact that the Philippines is very vital to the US. They are not going to let go of the Philippines that easily. Notice how the US is just ignoring Duterte’s rants? Recently, the US seems to be trying to appease the Filipino community. Even Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton mentioned the importance of Philippine-American relations recently. That’s something considering she criticised Duterte after the “did he or did he not swear at Obama?” incident.
Robredo needs to wisen up and realise that she could put a strain on her relationship with Duterte if she keeps talking to the media about what she thinks about Duterte’s policies. She can’t say she is fully supportive of the President while badmouthing him to the press. While diplomacy and tact are important to stress when it comes to international relations, doing so just because she wants to maintain the dole-out is wrong. Shame on her for promoting mendicancy. That kind of mentality is something Filipinos should get rid of. Too bad Robredo keeps espousing it. She’s not helping push for real change in Philippine society.
In life, things are not always what they seem.