In what seemed to be the launch of her 2022 campaign, Vice President Leni Robredo wanted to make known in a nearly one-hour yellow television program that was made to appear as a regular interview that she now holds the leadership baton in the opposition, but failed miserably.
In The Mangahas Interviews of veteran journalist Malou Mangahas, Robredo tried to sum up all the unsubstantiated attacks against President Rodrigo Duterte, from the signature war on drugs where she squandered an opportunity to put in her share in solving it, to the campaign against the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
In her patented sophomoric manner, Robredo wanted to leave an imprint that the Duterte administration had mishandled the crime and narcotics problem, citing the information she acquired during her short stint as drugs czarina.
She was terminated as head of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs (ICAD) after only 18 days in the post as she rushed to the United States in drafting a solution to the drugs problem instead of discussing it with the President.
Mr. Duterte, on his way to an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) event in November 2019, booted Robredo as co-chair of the ICAD, citing her incompetence and her penchant to grandstand.
The first directive of the Vice President as head of the anti-drugs campaign was for enforcement agencies to produce the list of high-value drug lords that surprised officials of the body since only the President had access to the thick list of about 11,000 drug personalities.
Shortly after her appointment, Robredo also met with officials from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the US Embassy to discuss the drug problem, which she has said must be tackled using a public health approach.
More than two weeks into her tenure, however, she failed to flesh out the alternative method.
She even floated the phrase “alternative truth” in the interview, triggering memories of the alibi President Noynoy Aquino used in trying to worm out of accountability from the 2015 Mamasapano bloodbath that took the lives of 44 Special Action Force troops.
Cornered by reports on his direct involvement in the planning and staging of “Oplan Exodus” that targeted Malaysian terrorist Marwan, Aquino, in a national address, cited the need to look into what he coined as the “alternative truth” on what transpired on 25 January 2015.
His administration tried to give credence to the obviously biased Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) report that followed the storyline of a misencounter.
Such obfuscation from the MILF would have provided a diversion from the reports of the PNP Board of Inquiry and the Senate Committee on Peace and Order on the Mamasapano debacle that both pointed to the ultimate responsibility of Noynoy on the incident.
In similar fashion, Robredo wanted a quick image revision by raising the need to look at an alternative truth, which is no other than the manipulated narration of what had transpired the over four years of the Duterte administration, similar to the claims in the failed yellow production that was the “Alias Bikoy” videos.
Robredo never had an impact on the lives of Filipinos during her forgettable stint in the second highest post of the land, and she can’t expect to turn the impression around in one hour of spins and innuendoes.