Things have been moving too fast in Philippine politics lately that it’s hard to keep up. I have been promising myself I would write about current Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s relentless attacks on the government – a government she is a part of, but before I had a chance to do it, President Rodrigo Duterte offered her a post as co-chair of his anti-drug body Inter-Agency Committe on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD). I also wanted to write about that. Then she accepted it. Before I could write about that too, two weeks later, she got fired!
The news of Robredo getting sacked was reported around the globe. It’s one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. It’s the mother of all embarrassing situations for a politician. This is the second time Robredo had been fired from Duterte’s cabinet. It would be unbelievable for someone who has not been following how the events unfolded. For those who haven’t been following it or have been ignoring her statements, they might ask, does Robredo deserve it? My unbiased and non-partisan opinion says she does.
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If we do a flashback from two weeks ago, it was easy to see Robredo was walking into a trap of her own making. She told the media that Duterte’s drug war has failed. Mind you, she didn’t even have any data or facts to back her claim. Of course Duterte got pissed off. He offered her a post as “drug czar” – to give her a chance to prove she can do a better job. After all, she’s been acting like she knows better than everyone. Against the advice of her party-mates and supporters, Robredo accepted the offer. She was pumped up about it. She even had the gall to ask if everyone was ready for her.
Unfortunately, she started to unravel from Day One on the job. Robredo started asking irrelevant questions like how many drug addicts are in the country. As if drug addicts would readily admit they are drug addicts. She was also suggesting that there should be zero deaths in the drug war. That was too naïve and unrealistic. Members of illegal drug syndicates are among the most dangerous people on Earth. They won’t hesitate to kill anyone who gets in their way. Robrebo was putting policemen’s lives in danger. Her ideas were merely pandering to the so-called “human rights” advocates who seem to care more about the lives of psychopaths and killers than innocent people.
It all went pear-shaped for Robredo after she said she planned to meet with officials from both the United States (US) Embassy and the United Nations (UN) “to discuss issues and possible improvements on the war on drugs”. At first I thought, what the heck is she doing? She was exhibiting that all-too-familiar colonial mentality. Instead of meeting with member of local agencies tasked to tackle the drug problem, she prioritized asking foreigners for advice. I had a feeling it would piss Duterte off and, as it turns out, it certainly did. He eventually said that Robredo cannot be trusted with sensitive information because she could divulge them to enemies of the state.
Okay, just so no one accuses me of being biased, I also thought it was a bad idea for Duterte to offer Robredo a role in his drug war in the first place because she cannot be trusted and she would be a hindrance to the operation. I knew Duterte was making a mistake because he already advised voters against Robredo and said she would be a nightmare if she becomes President. But I can understand why he had a knee-jerk reaction to her criticism of the drug war.
Now that Duterte fired Robredo, her supporters have listed down all the possible reasons why he did, including one about Duterte supposedly being “scared” of her. Someone even said it’s because she’s a woman. They are delusional. It was obvious that Robredo had nothing on Duterte and has come across as wielding no influence on public perception. The public easily sees through her motherhood statements. Her gender had nothing to do with her getting fired. There are a lot of women in Duterte’s government and they are all doing fine.
Robredo’s supporters should stop lying to themselves. Deep down they knew Leni was going to make a fool of herself which is why they didn’t want her to accept the post. They knew there was a chance she could be exposed as incompetent and un-presidential. Besides, they themselves also asked Duterte to just fire her. Robredo simply did not fit the culture in Duterte’s cabinet. She was not a team player. She was trying too hard to prove that she is better than everyone.
The sooner the Liberal Party and its supporters accept that Robredo is the wrong person to lead them through the next election, the higher the probability of success in the next election.
In the press statements she made after getting fired, Robredo issued veiled threats against the Duterte government and said that she will be publicizing stuff she found out during her stint in the agency. She is setting herself up for another failure. She doesn’t learn. Whatever it is that she is about to expose is not going to hurt a popular President. Duterte has always been vocal and transparent about his policies. This is another attempt at putting the government down just because she got fired.
The more she talks, the more Robredo proves she is vindictive. That is a sign she is not very smart. Her emotional intelligence is low. She can’t control her emotions. She should learn to say less words especially since her words only showcase her true character.
There’s not an ounce of humility in Leni Robredo. She is not capable of introspection. The praises she gets from the inbred cliques of people around her got into her head. Getting fired for the second time should be a humbling experience for her. Unfortunately for her and the Filipino people, she is too arrogant, too full of herself, and too incompetent to get her own agenda going. She will eventually hammer the final nail into the Liberal Party coffin.
In life, things are not always what they seem.