Robredo: Dissenting voice but eyes not on presidency

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President Rodrigo Duterte, Vice-President Leni Robredo

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — No such plot to oust Duterte. No dreams of becoming President. And in fact, she says, she's even willing to give up her vice-presidential post should the country adopt a form of government that doesn't need one.

VP Leni Robredo made these points clear on Friday amidst talks of alleged Liberal Party's plan to unseat the President.

"Parati ko iyon inuulit, before until now. Wala naman ako ganoong pangarap. Iyong sa akin lang, I want this administration to succeed."

[Translation: I have always said that I have no such dreams (of becoming President).]

Related: Liberal Party won't oust Duterte

She was reacting to a question in relation to a Facebook post by Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano earlier in the day:

"There's much more, but in a nutshell I challenge you to stop campaigning and thinking of the Presidency and help attract investments, build infrastructure, create jobs, and redistribute wealth in our country. Let's do it together," Cayetano said, in response to Robredo's challenge for him to speak up against the Marcoses despite his firm support for President Rodrigo Duterte.

Robredo added she'd even want the Duterte administration to succeed.

"President Duterte has the mandate of the Filipino people," she said. "And tingin ko, obligasyon nating suportahan siya (It is our obligation to support him)."

She noted that the administration had been in power for just about six months.

"Hindi din maganda na nandoon na naman tayo sa may papatalsikin."

[Translation: It's not good that here we are again calling for ouster.]

Unifying opposing voices

Supporting the administration, however, doesn't mean not airing dissenting voices anymore, Robredo says.

The Vice President said she would root for policies she'd agree with, but would sound the alarm on things she'd find objectionable.

She mentioned issues like human rights, death penalty, the lowering of the age of criminal liability and the Marcos burial.

Robredo said she hoped she would be able to unify the scattered dissent into one loud voice.

"Hindi ako nawawalan ng pag-asa na hindi tayo papakinggan ng Pangulo... If we are passionate enough about our dissent, baka sakali pakinggan tayo.

[Translation: I remain hopeful that the President will listen to us.]


Along with talks of alleged plots to remove the President were also talks of moves to oust the Vice President.

But Duterte had given Robredo yesterday an assurance that she'd complete her six-year term.

"When I heard that sinabi ko naman salamat. Pero sana ang reassurance na iyon hindi lang ngayon ibigay. Pero ibigay as the days, months, and years go by," she said. "Kasi nakaka-create siya ng uncertainty kapag nandoon hanging iyong, alam naman iyong kampo ni Marcos masyadong maingay, sa 2017 kami na."

[Translation: When I heard about it, I said thank you. But I hope that assurance would stand in the days, years to come. Because the Marcos camp is making noises that by next year they'd be the ones in (vice presidential) office.]

Support for federalism

Like Duterte, Robredo said she would also be okay with a federal form of government if this would be the way to improve the lives of the Filipinos.

But she said she needed clarification as to what kind of federalism was on the table.

"Gulong gulo kasi ako sa anong iyong klaseng format ng federalism na ino-offer. Mayroon tayong narinig from Senator Pimentel pero mayroon din sinasabi si Presidente na French model. Naguguluhan tayo pero we're willing to listen.

[Translation: I'm so confused as to what form of federalism we are talking about — the one by Sen. Pimentel or the one by Duterte modelled after France. We're at a loss but we are willing to listen.]

Should there be no post for a Vice President in the new form of government, Robredo said that wouldn't be a problem for her.

"Iyong sa akin, hindi naman iyon mahalaga. Whether may VP, o wala, kung iyon ang makakatulong sa ating gobyerno, iyon ang susuportahan natin."

[Translation: For me that's not important. With or without a VP, if that would help the government, we will support it.]