Naga better than Davao? I wasn’t comparing, Robredo says

Katerina Francisco
Naga better than Davao? I wasn’t comparing, Robredo says
The Liberal Party's VP bet says she was not comparing Naga and Davao when asked about Duterte's leadership style

MANILA, Philippines – While she is no fan of tough-talking Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership style, Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo on Monday, November 30, clarified reports she was comparing Davao with her hometown, Naga City. 

In a forum held at the University of the Philippines-Diliman, the Liberal Party’s vice presidential bet was asked if she considered her brand of leadership better than Duterte’s, whose iron-fisted style of governance has won praise for instilling discipline in the city, but has also drawn criticism for alleged human rights violations.

Robredo clarified she was not comparing the two cities when asked the question in an interview with The Philippine Star last week.

“I want to set the record straight. When that interview was conducted, the question was, ‘Am I in favor of an iron-clad, Duterte-style leadership?’ And my answer was no, because in Naga, our style of governance is inclusive and participatory, and we have achieved a lot through that style,” she said.

Robredo added that she never compared the two cities, but was only referring to the different kinds of leadership espoused by the two.

“I was not comparing Naga with anyone else. Iba-iba ang approaches ng style of leadership. Hindi natin pinupuna ‘yung ibang klaseng istilo kasi kanya-kanya naman ‘yun,” she said.

(We have different styles of leadership. I was not criticizing another style because we each have our own.)

The neophyte legislator, widow of the late Naga mayor and interior secretary Jesse Robredo, has consistently said in previous interviews she wanted to emulate Naga’s example and push a participatory, citizen-driven style of governance around the country.

In the grassroots style of governance she espouses, Robredo said critical citizens can be transformed into collaborators and partners with local leaders.

Lahat ng tao binibigyan ng upuan sa la mesa, lahat ng boses pinapakinggan. Lahat ng tao, inaaya na lumahok sa pamumuno,” she said.

(Everyone is given a seat at the table, all voices are heard. Everyone is invited to participate in governance.)

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