Robredo won't trade barbs with Sara Duterte over 'fake VP' tag

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 11) — Vice President Leni Robredo refused to engage in a word war with presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio after she was called a "fake VP."

"Pagpasensyahan niyo na, pero ayaw kong pumasok sa isang usapan na: una, dala ng init ng ulo, pangalawa, may insultuhan, pangatlo, parang masama iyong pananalita, kasi wala naman tayong mapapala diyan," she said in a chance interview in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Duterte-Carpio lambasted Robredo on March 8, saying she had no right to comment about honesty and integrity because her honesty has been in question since she was elected in 2016. The Davao City Mayor said the tag "fake VP" is the testament to this. Duterte-Carpio hit back after Robredo said honesty was a crucial factor in anyone wanting to run for public office, in response to Duterte-Carpio who earlier said all candidates lie. She also fired back at Robredo for responding through her spokesperson and the Liberal Party, calling her courage "fake."

The Vice President said she'd rather focus on campaigning for opposition slate Otso Diretso and the upcoming elections rather than trading barbs with the chairperson of the regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

"Ayaw sana namin na malihis sa tamang mga issues na dapat pagdebatehan, kasi aagawin pa namin iyong atensyon galing sa mga kandidato. Hindi naman kami kandidato," she said.

Duterte-Carpio was reportedly instructed by her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman to stop "bullying" opposition candidates. Sought for comment on Zimmerman's reported advice, Robredo said, "Mothers know best."