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Better off with her mouth shut

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In this saga on President Rodrigo Duterte’s remark on extrajudicial killings (EJK) as his only “sin,” we expected to hear from every mouthpiece the Liberal Party (LP) can muster. Of course, the final say would come from their highest ranking official, Vice President Leni Robredo.

Asked to comment on this issue, Robredo said, “Kung nagbibiro man, dapat hindi iyon ginagawang biro. Insulto ‘yon. Insulto ‘yon sa napakaraming pamilya na naiwan ng mga napatay dahil sa extrajudicial killings.” In layman’s terms, our Vice President said that the President’s remark is nothing but an insult to the families who lost their loved ones in EJK.

Please, Madam Vice President, you seem much smarter when you say nothing at all.

“Robredo’s one-sided comment, clearly in favor of her own political propaganda, is more insulting than what she is insinuating about the President.

What about the families whose loved ones have lost their way due to addiction to drugs peddled by drug pushers in the corners of impoverished areas in this country? What about the families whose loved ones were lured into selling drugs and are now incarcerated?

What about those families who lost loved ones due to enraged killings done by those high on drugs? What about the parents whose daughters were gang raped by drug-addict maniacs that deserve no place in this world?

Robredo’s one-sided comment, clearly in favor of her own political propaganda, is more insulting than what she is insinuating about the President. The fact remains that this country’s problem is the rampant use, abuse and circulation of drugs, infused by foreign countries and backed by narco-politicians. Our Vice President must admit to this, else she confirms that she is as blind as a bat when it comes to pressing and important national issues that are way more significant than the political agenda of the LP.

With due respect to the Vice President, this statement of hers just proves that human rights, in the Philippines, has been unjustly politicized. Opinion writers have been saying it: Human rights are a political topic, subjective and dependent on the person you are asking.

This all boils down to the fact that, sooner or later, the last bastion of the LP will be Robredo.

Since Sen. Leila de Lima has been detained for her involvement in the drug trade, and in view of Sen. Antonio Trillanes’ expected arrest pursuant to the criminal case for coup d’etat before the Regional Trial Court of Makati, we can all anticipate the LP to pressure and float Robredo in the media, with the hope that she would make more comments such as these.

The administration should not be bothered, however, since Robredo has not been mincing the right words ─ proof that she does not have the mantle to lead the Yellow Opposition.

She should instead focus on her case before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET), filed by former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, contesting her vice presidency. Last week, the PET issued its decision regarding the 25 percent ballot shading threshold and although this seems a victory to the Robredo camp, they are not clearly out of the woods just yet. The process of recounting has yet to begin and there are still some legal maneuverings in the way.

Robredo must likewise focus on strengthening their senatorial lineup for 2019. Just recently, they announced their initial lineup of three candidates, re-electionist Sen. Bam Aquino, Erin Tañada and Dean Chel Diokno. While the latter two candidates have, let’s be honest and truthful here, zero chances in hell to win in 2019, Sen. Bam can still possibly win, but only if those in front of him in the surveys (i.e., Mayor Sara Duterte, General Bato de la Rosa and SAP Bong Go), decide not to run for the Senate.

Our Vice President might be better off convincing her running mate, former Secretary Mar Roxas, to run again for the Senate since he did make it to 12th place in the last Pulse Asia Survey. We are sure the administration would be more than happy to have Roxas back, so they can make chopped liver out of his statements yet again.

Perhaps all this just proves that the 1987 Constitution must be amended to make the vote for the President be the same vote for his/her running partner Vice President. It does not make any political sense for the President and Vice President to belong in opposing parties.

Their charades make a mockery out of our election system, and the political intramurals they perform do nothing but waste taxpayers’ money. Unfortunately, the Philippines is now knee-deep in this exercise, so we just hope for Robredo’s mouth to be shut, for the sake of the Filipino people.

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