The more critical thinkers among the public have noticed Vice President Leni Robredo’s speech pattern to be mostly incoherent. She can’t organize her thoughts verbally in a manner which she can be understood by her audience. Most wonder why this is considering she is a UP graduate of Economics. Even her grasp of her major isn’t good. Yesterday she went after the Department of Health (DOH) over the adverse findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) by saying “bakit tayo mangungutang kung marami palang pera na hindi nagagastos?”
It’s not as simple as she paints it to be. You can’t compare government borrowing to the operations of a department. She can’t get it in her head that government is not a for-profit entity. It is in the business of delivery of public services. Robredo also took up law at the Ateneo De Naga and from all accounts, it took her either two or three tries to pass the bar. Not indicative of being a good lawyer and it shows. She is hopelessly inarticulate. Figure that out. Being articulate is a basic requirement for one expected to competently argue cases before a court. It is hardly surprising that, most of the time, Robredo does not cite legal provisions in her critique of the administration.
The DOH missive is an example. A seasoned lawyer would normally put it in the context of what laws were violated. But, in her case, it was about public debt. She has been Vice-President for five years. She still has not grown into the job. Her speech pattern is based on non-government organisation (NGO)-speak. Actually, her office is akin to a trading outfit; it serves as a broker of donations from the private sector and NGOs for the poorest of the poor. These are whom she describes as “nasa laylayan ng lipunan,” literally “fringes of society”. Despite all of her efforts and her being in the news cycle 25/8 courtesy of her lamestream media allies, her job approval and trust ratings are still average at best. This can be attributed to the lack of sincerity in her manner of speaking. She does not come across as credible.
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It doesn’t help that she affects the colegiala manner, which is something you don’t really expect to see in a woman in her mid-50s who is Vice-President and an economist-lawyer by profession. Most of the projects under her office are PR-oriented. They are not scalable enough to be institutionalized in government agencies. For example, take those vaccine drives that she puts under her personal brand but use the vaccine allocations of the local government units (LGUs). Why the need for such if it is the mandate of the LGUs from the national government to begin with? Post-Marcos, she is the only Vice-President to deliver a contra-SONA which is usually done only by the minority in the Legislature. The Vice-President is part of the Executive branch so what business does she have criticizing the branch of government she belongs to? In this respect, Robredo is not being faithful to the functions of her office as stipulated in the Constitution. She was given a Cabinet post by the President but didn’t buckle down to work which is why she was fired ignominiously. She was given another chance by being appointed head of the inter-agency committee on illegal drugs but she turned it again into a PR-show-cum-crusade against the administration in its drug war.
Robredo also fails at being the titular head of the Opposition. Look at the miserable showing of their Senatorial slate in 2019. Up to today, she still has not made a categorical statement on whether or not she is running for President in 2022. She is making it appear that she does not have the time to focus on making a decision because she’s busy with her so-called pandemic response efforts. Yet she admitted to meeting with Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Tito Sotto in a bid to out up a unified slate for 2022. She was again caught dealing with them in bad faith when she made it appear that she was approached when, the fact is, it was her Chief of Staff who reached out to his counterpart at Sotto’s office. Her supporters’ battlecry has been “Let Leni Lead”. But how can she lead when she does not manifest basic leadership qualities?
Perhaps the most glaring disconnect is in Robredo’s continued claim that she won over Bongbong Marcos in the 2016 race. Marcos has consistently come out as the second or third choice in both Presidential and Vice-Presidential preference rankings in all surveys. Robredo can’t even manage to scratch in a comparable showing. The ugly truth is Marcos won that race. How Robredo emerged the winner only she knows. The writing on the wall is clear. She will not win if she runs in 2022. The majority of Filipinos have been repudiating her “victory” for the past five years but she refuses to acknowledge this fact. Maybe she’s really in an alternative parallel reality existence in her own head. God forbid she becomes President.
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