Leni Robredo’s statements add to the Filipino people’s misery

Every day it seems like current Vice President Leni Robredo issues dumb statements to the media. She recently spoke out about the “challenges of dealing with fake news” such as this classic: “We are confronting a very well funded, well oiled trolling machinery and we do not have funds to counter that”.

Robredo and the rest of the Opposition think money is the answer to their problems. First of all, Robredo doesn’t have concrete evidence that the current government runs a “well oiled trolling machinery”. She makes it look like there is a Charlie and the Troll Factory somewhere working for the Duterte government. The claim is so ridiculous. Besides, even if they had the funds to operate a troll machine, the Opposition still won’t win. They couldn’t win the 2016 elections, for example, despite being in power and having the funds to pay “trolls”. Even when they hired so-called “influencers”, they still lost. So no, funds or no funds, Robredo and her supporters are no match against facts.

Robredo’s regular issuance of such useless statements is not helping the Filipino community at all. She is adding to their daily misery. In the same press conference, she advised the government to start the rehabilitation of the areas affected by the Taal Volcano eruption here: “Robredo says in an interview that government should start rehabilitation plans for areas affected by Taal Volcano’s unrest even though relief efforts are ongoing”.

She obviously didn’t think first before opening her mouth. The area is still a no-go zone and authorities hadn’t lifted the highest alert warning. As of this writing there was still an imminent threat of another more destructive eruption so there was no point in starting the rehabilitation then. Robredo wanted to project an image that she has all the great ideas but ends up coming across like an airhead.

Robredo also issued another head-scratcher while speaking before the members of the Rotary Club. In front of business men, she expresses “concern” about how the government treats contracts with private enterprises. She said it is “worrying how contracts are now being relegated to the background because that will affect integrity of our contracts.” Someone should remind Robredo that she is part of the government. She should be discussing her concerns with her fellow colleagues and not with businessmen. She is trying to create a negative impression of President Duterte with them just to lift her own profile. In short, she is badmouthing her boss.

Robredo is obviously referring to the government’s contract with water concessionaire Maynilad. She doesn’t even care that Duterte’s beef with the owners of Maynilad has a lot to do with how the contract was allegedly skewed favourably to the owners who don’t even provide excellent service to the people. It’s baffling the way Robredo would defend the owners of these companies instead of the people. Robredo seems to be working for the oligarchs who have been scamming the people. Indeed, in yet another statement, Robredo said she will prioritise the strengthening of the country’s institutions if elected to the Presidency. That may sound heroic to some people but she should know that the padrino system or patronage politics trumps all systems in the Philippines.

As long as she favours the interests of members of the oligarchy — which her own party mates are a part of — Leni Robredo will only contribute to the weakening of already fragile institutions. Besides, as long as the alleged fraud that resulted in her win in the 2016 Vice Presidential election doesn’t get resolved and the fraudsters get away with their crime, democracy in the Philippines will remain a sham.