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MANILA, Philippines – The two-week-old radio program of Vice President Leni Rodredo has become the new target of her bashers on social media.
As far as they are concerned, she's up to no good. They are accusing her of using the weekly media engagement to destabilize the government even if the program is devoted to non-political topics.
The Vice President and her co-anchor, broadcaster Ely Saludar, urged critics to listen to "BISErbisyong LENI" first before making such conclusions.
In the second broadcast of the program on radio station RMN-dzXL 558 Khz on Sunday, May 21, Robredo lamented how her camp has been swamped with negative comments on social media.
"Marami nang awayan sa social media. Kahit 'yung programa natin, imbes na pagtulong 'yung inaatupag, maraming magsisingit nang lahat kasamaan, lahat kagalitan," Robredo said.
(A lot of people are quarreling on social media. Even in our program, instead of focusing on helping other people, they're interjecting a lot of evil and anger.)
Robredo's co-anchor called on the public to listen to the show so that they would see that it's focused on promoting government services for the poor.
"Tingnan ninyo po, puro serbisyo po ito. Gusto ko lang sagutin ang iba kasi kung ano-ano ang paninira....Destabilize ang gobyerno. I-monitor po ninyo nang mabuti…..Wala po kaming ginagawang paninira dito," Saludar said.
(Please check [the show], this is purely about service. I just want to respond to some of the allegations because they are accusing [the show] of destabilizing the government. Monitor it closely….We are not criticizing anyone here.)
Robredo chairs the former ruling Liberal Party (LP) of former president Benigno Aquino III, considered the country's political opposition.
There was an initial promise that President Rodrigo Duterte could work well with Robredo when he appointed her as his housing czar, but this was short-lived. Robredo was forced to resign as Duterte accused the LP of hatching an ouster plot against him. (READ: Robredo on HUDCC stint: No one can say I didn't give it my all)
The Vice President has long been a target of the social media supporters of the President and former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, who lost to her by a narrow margin in the vice presidential race.
The attack went on full throttle early this year when her critics used their "wild and active imagination" to accuse Robredo herself of leading a plot against Duterte.
Robredo said she wants to use her radio program to spread positive stories. She and her co-anchor have shied away from political topics so far and have not even mentioned Duterte in the program.
In the maiden broadcast of the radio program last week, they discussed malnutrition among children. They spoke to Diane Rodriguez, advocacy officer of Action Against Hunger Philippines.
On Sunday, Robredo talked about participating in the Department of Education's Brigada Eskwela program at the Balara Elementary School. She brought her daughter to help repaint school buildings and donate school supplies.
The program also guested multi-awarded public school teacher Tina Robles, who has been helping fellow teachers and students excel.
"Gusto nating maging daan ang program para alisin ang lahat ng negatibo. Huwag na mag-away-away. Lahat na lang ng mabubuting kuwento. Hindi po kuwento ko. Kuwento ng kababayan na nagdaan sa hirap, pero iniahon ang sarili para maging matagumpay sa buhay," she said.
(We want the program to become an avenue to help get rid of all negativity. Let's not quarrel. Let's spread good stories. Not my stories. The stories of our countrymen who go through difficulties but rise to succeed in life.)
"BISErbisyong LENI" is an hour-long show that airs every Sunday. It tackles issues on public service and provides legal advice to listeners. It is also aired live on the Facebook page of RMN and through its regional stations in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Naga City.