Robredo shrugs off 'insults': Focus on candidates
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo shrugged off Davao City Vice Mayor Sara Duterte's latest remarks against her, saying the public should be focusing on candidates' qualifications and not on the two of them.
On the sidelines of Robredo's Istorya ng Pag-asa (Stories of Hope) event in Hong Kong on Sunday, March 10, reporters asked the Vice President about Mayor Duterte's remarks.
The Davao City mayor, chairperson of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party, had claimed there was "massive fraud" in the 2016 elections and that Robredo was a "fake VP." She made the statement after Robredo emphasized the importance of honesty for candidates, which in turn was in response to Duterte saying that honesty is not an issue because "everyone" lies anyway.
"Kahit insultuhin ako, hindi naman nagbabago iyong paniniwala ko. Hanggang ngayon, kahit ininsulto na niya ako, paniwala ko talaga...napakahalaga ng honesty hindi [lang] sa eleksyon, pero sa pang-araw-araw na buhay namin bilang mga lingkod-bayan," Robredo told reporters on Sunday.
(Even if they insult me, my beliefs will not change. Until now, even after she insulted me, I still believe...that honesty is important not just in the elections, but in our daily lives as public servants.)
"Paraan ba ito para ma-deflect iyong isyu?... Dapat nakatuon iyong pansin ng mga tao, sa mga kandidato. Sila iyong dapat nagde-debate, hindi kami," she said.
(Is it a way to deflect the issue?... The public's attention should be on the candidates. The candidates are the ones who should be debating, not the two of us.)
Otso Diretso candidates for the May 2019 elections – backed by Robredo – have been criticizing HNP senatorial bet Imee Marcos for lying about graduating with honors from the University of the Philippines College of Law and obtaining a degree from Princeton University.
Marcos' brother, defeated 2016 vice presidential bet Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, is locked in an electoral protest with Robredo.
Asked about Mayor Duterte's "fake VP" claim, Robredo said: "Kung may massive fraud, isang eleksyon lang naman iyon, isang resulta. Eh di lahat noong nag-eleksyon noong 2016, gusto bang sabihin kaduda-duda iyong pagkapanalo?"
(If there were massive fraud, that was only one automated election, one result. Is she casting doubt on the victories of all those who won in the 2016 elections?)
Robredo also pointed out that she has repeatedly addressed various lies being spread about her. In May 2018, she launched a video series on Facebook to debunk all sorts of claims, from rumored boyfriends to shoes supposedly worth hundreds of dollars.
"Nandoon iyong lahat ng sagot, kailangan lang mag-research.... Nandiyan iyong pruweba, tingnan 'nyo kung kailan ko sinagot, at matagal na iyon. Madaling hanapin, kasi nga nasa Facebook iyon," the Vice President said.
(The answers are all there, they just need to do research.... The proof is there, check when I answered the claims, and that was a long time ago. The answers are easy to find, because those are just on Facebook.) – Rappler.com