Ever since she was fired from her post as Secretary for Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council in 2016, current Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo has to keep the appearance of doing something “productive” lest the public forget her. She’s not doing much except attending ceremonial events and commenting on various issues that make the headlines. Her comments are mostly jabs at the current policies of President Rodrigo Duterte like his policy on his war on drugs. One can be forgiven for thinking that Robredo has taken the role of spokesperson for the Opposition.
Instead of helping, what Robredo is doing is causing further conflict in Philippine society. She’s part of the current administration but since she’s often issuing statements against government policies, she comes across as an outsider. To be fair, Robredo is an outsider. She doesn’t belong to Duterte’s political party and has always been vocal against the President even during the campaign period. She’s a result of a flawed system of governance. She ran against Duterte’s own Vice Presidential running mate in the last election and is being consistent with her stand as a member of the Opposition.
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While Robredo has a right to speak, her own bias for her party mates, which includes former President BS Aquino get in the way of rational thinking. Take for example her statement addressed to the Duterte administration warning “don’t use ex-officials as scapegoat” to cover up government shortfalls. For someone who cannot move on from blaming former President Ferdinand Marcos who, by the way, has been dead for almost forty years, her statement is quite ridiculous and inconsistent with her own behavior.
Yes, Robredo still talks about the Marcos years as if it happened only last year. She also blames the Marcos children as if they were part of those who committed atrocities during Martial Law in the 1970s. Her contempt for the family is likewise getting in the way of uncovering the alleged electoral fraud that may have robbed the real winners in the 2016 Presidential Elections. Her refusal to acknowledge that vote tampering may have occurred is self-serving. But I digress…
Instead of finding a solution to the issues she’s concerned about, Robredo simply tries to put the current administration down. Not that Duterte is into the blame game like BS Aquino, but he has the right to blame BS Aquino for the problems the Filipino people are still facing now. If Robredo can blame Marcos even when there had been five more Presidents after him who mismanaged the country, surely Duterte and the rest of the public can blame BS Aquino especially since a lot of the policies and contracts he entered into are still in effect. The Metro Rail Transit for instance, still uses the same maintenance provider that the previous government hired and contracted. The incorrect and unusable coaches for the MRT were also purchased by the previous government, which caused the public billions of pesos. How can Robredo not blame BS Aquino for that? It’s as if Robredo is contracted not to mention the previous government at all cost.Even with the recent exposé that the immunization program rolled out two months before BS Aquino stepped down from office — a midnight deal, some would say — Robredo still refuses to tag him as the culprit. Her only comment was to ask the government to “probe bungling of vaccine program”. The said program involves the dengue vaccine Dengvaxia which was reported “to worsen the effects of dengue on people who had not been previously afflicted by the disease.” This is a disaster waiting to happen because most, if not all the 733,000 children and adults vaccinated have not been afflicted with dengue because it was promoted as prevention. She is right in saying someone should be held liable.
Robredo is not helping at all when she attempts to cover up for her party-mates. She’s just delaying the investigation. The public can trace the timeline of events. The dengue vaccination program was not Duterte’s program. The error was discovered during Duterte’s term though. The investigation will lead to BS Aquino who was on record championing it as one of his “accomplishments”. BS Aquino and then Department of Health Secretary Janette Garin could also be sued for over charging the public because they reportedly spent P3000.00 per child on the dengue vaccine.
It seems there is another crime that BS Aquino should be charged with. If proven that someone profited from this “program”, which is looking more like a scam, it will cement BS Aquino as a scam artist. The list of scams, which includes the pork barrel and disbursement acceleration program scams, during his term is getting longer. The dengue vaccination fiasco may not be the last in the list of fiascos that will be exposed as a result of Noynoy’s incompetence and disregard for the safety of the public during his six-year term. Sadly, we don’t know the extent of his government’s callousness.
Fortunately, Robredo’s request to stop blaming BS Aquino government will fall on deaf ears because the public is now clamoring for answers for his crimes against the public. Some of us will be around to blame him, his equally incompetent and corrupt allies every time there is a valid reason to do so.
In life, things are not always what they seem.