Leni Robredo’s masquerade collapses
Groups opposed to President Rodrigo Duterte have good reason to be sorrowful. According to the latest surveys, Duterte remains in very good standing in the eyes of the people, despite all the adverse propaganda hurled against him by his political enemies, and his critics in the Roman Catholic Church.
More disturbing for the anti-Duterte groups is the survey revelation that the public acceptance for Leni Robredo, the vice president installed by the discredited Liberal Party (LP) and the Smartmatic executives who conspired with the LP, has dropped immensely. Robredo lost almost half of her public approval ratings since the last survey held in December 2016. That’s a clear downfall by any indication.
Robredo’s official apologists (who draw their salaries from taxpayers) dismiss this development as a “continuing challenge” for their employer to do better. That’s a specious excuse because the vice president of the Philippines has no specific job description provided by law by which an improvement in performance can be gauged.
At best, that was a clumsy attempt by Robredo’s devout followers to provide Robredo a graceful exit from a predicament of their boss’ own making.
The official job of the vice president, outside of an assignment in the president’s cabinet, is to patiently wait for a vacancy in the presidency, and then take over the reins of the government. So far, Robredo cannot even do that job properly because she had clearly demonstrated, by her acts and by her omissions since she assumed office, that she will not wait for Duterte to vacate the presidency by death, resignation, or permanent incapacity, and prefers that Duterte be removed from office by impeachment, so she can seize power immediately.
From the start, Robredo was really against Duterte, period. Although Duterte gave her a nominal post in his cabinet, Robredo used that post to undermine the Duterte administration. She undertook her own sorties to disaster areas, even if Duterte had already been there before her. In one event abroad, Robredo was seen engaging in very friendly banter with international personalities publicly disdained by Duterte. Robredo also tacitly supported organized efforts to discredit Duterte during the first few months of his administration, until she was finally fired from the cabinet.
Recall that when a strong typhoon devastated the country, Robredo was vacationing abroad. At first, Robredo’s publicists downplayed the fact that Robredo refused to cut short her overseas vacation, particularly at a time when Filipinos were suffering at home. Eventually, the plain truth had to be admitted by Robredo’s camp.
Robredo has repeatedly denounced the election protest lodged against her at the Supreme Court, sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, by ex-Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. Her favorite strategy is to liken her dubious election as vice president to the 1986 special elections for president and vice president. In the process, Robredo conveniently suggests that if a Marcos unseats her from the vice presidency, the gains of the 1986 revolt would be put to naught. Surprisingly, howeverr, the interconnection between Robredo’s questioned victory in 2016 and the events of February 1986 have not been explained by Robredo, or by her minions.
It will be readily noticed that while Robredo desperately paints the Marcos camp as the villain, Robredo is conveniently silent as to her stand on how and why the Commission on Elections billeted Smartmatic officials (who were supposed to provide technical support during the actual election canvass in May 2016) at the Hotel Novotel at the Araneta Center in Cubao, Quezon City during those crucial days of the canvass. The Novotel hotel was where the national headquarters of the LP was housed, and Robredo was the LP bet for vice president. Why is Robredo mum about this?
Perhaps, Robredo realizes that the only way she can retain her grip on the second highest office of the land is to revive the Marcos bogeyman and associate it with Bongbong Marcos. That is, of course, an unwise measure because ex-President Benigno Aquino III used that Marcos bogeyman strategy against Bongbong in the 2016 elections, but Bongbong still got the votes—and in numbers that indicate that the days of using the Marcos bogeyman as a political campaign strategy are over.
Meanwhile, Robredo lives in a mansion in New Manila, Quezon City provided by the Quezon City government through its city mayor, Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, a staunch LP leader. Why is the government paying for an official residence for Robredo in the first place? All the vice presidents before Robredo did not have any such official residence paid for by taxpayers money. Why makes Robredo entitled to such an extraordinary privilege at public expense? Again, Robredo is silent on this issue.
Considering that Bistek and his rabid allies in the Quezon City Council have a penchant for spending public money indiscriminately, and a propensity to put public officers above ordinary people, that may be the explanation why Robredo has been allowed the use of a mansion at public expense while she waits for President Duterte to vacate his post in Malacañang anytime before the next presidential election.
Robredo mistakenly believes that she is the leader of the political opposition in the country. She may be in for an unpleasant surprise.
Senator Grace Poe is obviously eyeing another chance at the presidency in 2022, as seen in her recent attempts to project herself as a legislator of substance, even though she fails in that regard. Poe has been buoyed by her extraordinary luck in getting enough justices of the Supreme Court to uphold her baseless claim that she is a natural-born citizen of the Philippines. Fortunately, there were enough dissenting opinions from the other justices to show that Poe’s legal victory is based on “judicial legislation” mainly because it has no support in the Constitution and in international law.
Poe is clearly a potential adversary of Robredo. The Poe camp must be cheering, now that the Robredo masquerade has collapsed