Palace: Duterte won’t apologize to Robredo

Philippine Vice President Leni Robredo speaks with reporters in Ranay, Camarines Sur on Wednesday, November 18. | Photo from of the Ofice of the Vice President

MALACAÑANG on Thursday, November 19, said Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will not be apologizing to Vice President Leni Robredo following his recent tirades against her.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque maintained that Duterte was “justified” for his outburst, insisting that the Chief Executive did not say anything wrong.

He also cited the recent blunder of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo for their false accusations against Robredo.

“Unang-una, hindi naman sinabi ni Presidente sumakay siya ng C-130 e. Humihingi na ng abiso iyong mga nagsabi noon – si Secretary Lorenzana at saka si Secretary Panelo (First of all, it was not the President who said Robredo rode the C-130. Those who said that already apologized – Sec. Lorenzana and Sec. Panelo),” Roque said.

“Dapat silang humingi kung sila’y nagkamali dahil sila ang nagkamali pero hindi po ang Presidente. Bakit naman hihingi ng abiso ang Presidente na wala siyang pagkakamali? (They should apologize if they were wrong, but not the President. Why would the President apologize if he did nothing wrong?),” he added.

Roque also came to the defense of Duterte, saying he was expressing his sentiment when he vented about Robredo.

“Wala namang pagbabawal sa Presidente na ilabas ang kaniyang saloobin. At saka ulitin ko po, ang konteksto kasi iyong talagang pinakakalat ng supporters sa oposisyon nasaan si Presidente (Nothing prohibits the President from expressing his sentiment. I repeat, the context is the peddling of ‘where is the President?’ by her supporters),” he said.

Duterte on Tuesday, November 17 lambasted Robredo for supposedly questioning his absence during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses, calling her “dishonest.”

He appeared to claim that Robredo started the #NasaanAngPangulo hashtag while Typhoon Ulysses (international name: Vamco) was ravaging the country.

He also said Robredo merely made phone calls during the typhoon, and accused her of acting like she was the one in charge of rescue operations.

Robredo, for her part, denied the accusations, saying she never questioned Duterte’s whereabouts during the typhoon in her media interviews and tweets.

She also said she was only doing her job when she responded to the calls of typhoon victims in need of assistance.

“Sa panahon ng matinding sakuna, dapat lahat na tulong, welcome. Hindi ito contest. Hindi tayo nag-uunahan. Lahat tayo dapat nagtutulong-tulong para sa ating mga kababayan (In a time of worse calamity, everyone who offers help should be welcome.

This is not a contest. We are not racing against each other. Everyone should help each other for our countrymen),” Robredo said.

“There is no space for our ego when lives are at stake,” she added.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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