VICE President Leni Robredo should be objective in weighing the decisions made by President Rodrigo Duterte, Malacañang said Saturday.
"The assessment of people like Vice President Leni [Robredo to the President] should be objective… President Duterte’s decisions are based on facts, based on laws," Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in an interview with state-run dzRB.
Robredo recently told Duterte to “stop lies distorting the truth in our society” and instead “focus on the war that really matters.”
Robredo, in a speech delivered Friday in Quezon City, grabbed the chance to air her sentiments regarding the recent developments in the country, including the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima and the apparent disregard on the spirit of 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution.
Abella, however, maintained that the order by a Muntinlupa court to arrest De Lima “was done objectively and with fair play.”
“They misunderstand the fact that she is being accused of certain crimes and I think they should very well just say it’s up to those things. People are just listening to an echo chamber where they’re listening to themselves,” Abella said.
“They should face the fact and realize that Ms. De Lima is being brought to court for criminal reasons and not for political reasons,” he added.
Robredo said De Lima, who is known critic of Duterte, set as an example that anyone who speaks against the President “is not safe.”
Abella denied this and said a dissent from Duterte’s critics is being welcomed.
"These things of dissent are not being silenced," he said. "A dissent is allowed in a democratic situation and that’s what we have. I think Ms. De Lima simply assumes that hers is a political process. It is not. Hers is based on a criminal situation, clear and simple."
The presidential spokesperson also addressed Robredo's call on Duterte to rather focus on alleviating poverty in the country.
He said Robredo, who was a former housing czar, had witnessed how Duterte is dedicated to address the problems hounding the Filipino people.
"I think Ms. Robredo was part of the Cabinet from day one, almost from day one. She witnessed [Duterte’s dedication] unless she was not listening," Abella said.
"He had done many accomplishments… Many have been done already but are ignored and so, I think it would help the Vice President if she really look[s] and listen at the right places," he added. (SunStar Philippines)