Robredo to Duterte: Focus on economy, not insults

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Vice President Leni Robredo. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 11) —  Vice President Leni Robredo said that initially, she did not want to dignify the President by responding to being called "incompetent."

Still, she told him that instead of insulting her or God, he should focus on fixing the economy.

"Ayoko na sana i-dignify pero siguro sabihin ko nalang na imbes na insultuhin ako o ang Diyos, asikasuhin nalang muna ang mga problema ng ating ekonomiya," Robredo told reporters.

[Translation: I didn't want to dignify the comment, but perhaps I'll tell him that instead of insulting me or God, he should focus on fixing the problems in our economy.]

Robredo's legal adviser, Atty. Barry Gutierrez, came to her defense earlier, saying that the President should "look into his own house" before calling her incompetent and unfit to lead the country.

"The president should look into his own house first before casting aspersions," Gutierrez told CNN Philippines Wednesday.

Gutierrez in a Tuesday statement hit Duterte with issues hounding the country.

"Inflation: 5.2%. Bigas: ₱42/kilo. $1 = ₱53.51. Dagdag sa pambansang utang: ₱1.19T. Sariling karagatan: bawal sa Pinoy. Trapik: palala pa. Patayan, tila araw araw na lang." he said. "Incompetent? Nagsalita ang magaling."

[Translation: Inflation: 5.2 percent. Rice: ₱42/kilo. $1 = ₱53.51. Additions to the national debt: ₱1.19T. Our own waters: prohibited from Filipinos. Traffic: worsening. Killings, a daily occurence. Incompetent? Look who's talking.]

Gutierrez added Duterte may have spoken against the Vice President due to the 11-point decline in his satisfaction ratings from the Social Weather Stations' latest survey.

Although Gutierrez has yet to speak to the Vice President, he said Robredo is just shrugging off these remarks and focusing on her job.

"She's no stranger to being maligned over the past two years," he said. "In all that time, she's learned to take it in stride."

Duterte called out Robredo after she said she will unite all the groups critical of the President's controversial policies and statements.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Robredo is expected to lead the opposition, adding that an active opposition is vital to democracy.