THERE was "no malice" in President Rodrigo Duterte's remark about Vice President Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo being "incompetent" to lead the country, Malacañang said on Thursday, July 12.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. said the remark should not be taken as an insult because the President merely gave his "frank, honest and objective" assessment.
"Wala naman pong malisya doon sa assessment (ni Duterte laban kay Robredo). It's just a frank, honest, objective, assessment of the President," Duterte's mouthpiece said.
(There's no malice in the assessment [of Duterte against Robredo]. It's just a frank, honest, objective, assessment of the President," Duterte's mouthpiece said.
"It's the assessment of a person who served government for about 40 years. Maybe, we should look into the merits of what he said, since alam naman nating lahat na ang experience ni Vice President is three years as a congresswoman, and two years as a vice president," he added.
(It's the assessment of a person who served government for about 40 years. Maybe, we should look into the merits of what he said, since we all know that the experience of Vice President is three years as a Congresswoman, and two years as a Vice President.)
On July 10, Duterte said Robredo would never be ready to replace him because of her alleged "incompetence."
The President made the remark following Robredo's pronouncement that she was ready to unite and lead the opposition groups against the current adminsitration.
"I don't think she can ever be ready to govern my country. Reason? incompetence. She is not capable of running a country like this -- Philippines," Duterte told reporters in Pampanga province.
Robredo on Wednesday, July 11, fired back at Duterte, saying that the President should instead pay attention to the country's economic problems rather than insult her.
Roque, however, told the Vice President that the economy remains robust under Duterte's watch.
"Unang-una po, Madame Vice President, wala pong problema ang ekonomiya. Pangalawa po, alam ko pong nasaktan kayo, pero 'yung assessment po ni Presidente is an assessment of one who has served almost 30 years in an elective position, in addition to his 10 years being a public prosecutor," he said.
(First and foremost, Madame Vice President, there is no problem in the economy. Second, I know you're hurt but the assessment of the Presidente is an assessment of one who has served almost 30 years in an elective position, in addition to his 10 years being a public prosecutor.)
"I'm just restating the fact that the Vice President has had five years of government experience compared to the almost 40 years of government experience that the President has had. That's what I'm highlighting. It's not an insult. It's an objective assessment," he added. (SunStar Philippines)