Malacañang on Thursday disagreed with Vice President Leni Robredo’s remark that President Rodrigo Duterte’s threat that things would not be easy if she seeks the presidency in 2022 is “unpresidential.”
In a Palace press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte was simply being “consistent” with his tough-talking language.
“Hindi naman po plastic si Presidente at hindi naman niya ngayon lang ginawa ‘yan. Consistent po ang behavior ng Presidente (The President is not plastic and it is not the only time he did that. The President’s behavior is consistent),” Roque said.
Citing the September results of the Pulse Asia survey, he said Filipinos gave Duterte a 91-percent performance rating and a 91-percent trust rating.
“Is it unpresidential? I don’t think so because 91 percent of the people have said that they trust and they believe that the President is performing well in his duties. Is it unpresidential? According to 91 percent of our people, no. According to 5 percent, including the Vice President, yes,” he added.
Roque pointed out that Duterte was vexed because supporters of the opposition were “malicious” in asking, using the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo (Where is the President?) over social media.
Although he was unsure if Robredo herself questioned Duterte’s whereabouts in any of her tweets, he said tweets made by her daughters Aika and Tricia irked the President.
Robredo earlier denied looking for Duterte’s whereabouts while her daughters’ tweets asked if somebody was still asleep, but did not contain any name nor the hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo.
“Hindi ko alam kung talagang nagsabi si Vice President kung nasaan si Presidente, eh tingnan ninyo ito. Kung hindi man siya eh mayroong mga malapit sa kaniya na nagsabi ‘no. Ito o, makita ninyo ‘no. Unang-una iyong tweets ng mga malapit sa kaniya ‘no, iyong sarili niyang mga anak ‘ata: ‘Tulog pa rin, alas otso na.’ Galing po iyan kay Tricia Robredo, hindi ko po alam kung anong relasyon nila. Iyong galing naman kay Aika Robredo: ‘Sabado eh, weekend’ (I don’t know if the Vice President did ask for the President’s whereabouts, but look, if not her, people close to her. Look at the tweets of those close to her, her daughters: ‘Still asleep, it’s almost 8 a.m.’ That is from Tricia Robredo, I don’t know their relationship. The one from Aika Robredo: ‘It’s Saturday, weekend’),” Roque said.
In a taped public address aired Tuesday night, Duterte warned that he will make it a “nightmare” for Robredo should she run for the country’s highest elected office in 2022.
“When you start your campaign kung magtakbo ka ng presidente, waswasan kita nang husto (if you run for president, I’ll go after you). Well, this is your bad – this is your nightmare,” he said.
Duterte lashed out at Robredo for allegedly “grandstanding” during typhoon relief efforts by making it look like she was in charge and pretending to not know his whereabouts.
In response, Robredo tagged Duterte as “unpresidential”, saying she sees no problem with his threats so long as they were based on facts.
“I think that’s very unpresidential. Pero karapatan naman niyang sabihin kung ano yung dapat niyang sabihin. Siguraduhin niya lang na tama iyong pinagbabasehan niya and in this case, mali siya (But it is his right to say what he needs to say. He just has to make sure they are based on facts and in this case, he’s wrong),” she said. SOVEREIGNPH