LETTERS FROM DAVAO
By Jun Ledesma
VICE President Leni Robredo should take a long vacation leave. It’s pathetic to see her being bludgeon by critics in social media and it is doubly sad because the criticism against her is true. And sadly too because she is the next in command, the second most powerful person in the country but she gives us this creeps that, knock-on-wood, if Pres. Rodrigo Duterte cannot be stopped from riding the big bike and the next fall might incapacitate him, then we will contend with a VP whose unpredictable lapses and absurdities could usher back crime and ineptitude and drive away investors.
But nobody ever wanted to demonize VP Robredo. It’s not true that Duterte asked her to join his Cabinet and make her a housing czarina simply because she has a shapely pair of legs. She, being a lawyer and looks harmless, maybe up to her task and help in healing the wounds caused by divisive politics and therefore unite the nation. But Leni had a different agenda. She is opposed to the reinstatement of the death penalty, the burial of Marcos in the Libingan ng Mga Bayani, lowering of the age of criminal liability and, in a deceptive stab which only the Duterte critic could deliver, she boldly says," I am against extra-judicial killing (EJK) and sexual attacks against women". The EJK issue is as mythical as the Davao Death Squad which were long conjured by the political nemeses of Duterte even when he was mayor and the “sexual attacks” refer to the sick rape joke that candidate Digong would dish out.. PRRD had complimented her for her legs too. All these, however, were, of course, harmless but she loves the political soundbites. But Leni too is at the forefront in condemning Duterte’s war on drugs. Expectedly she resigned.
Nevertheless, the most debasing criticism against VP Robredo stemmed from her disturbing remarks which she dishes out to formal gatherings, media interviews, and social media. We can come up with a compendium of her classic statements which portray her views on economics (40 x 4=1,600), her gender appreciation (“All my daughters are girls”) and her latest diatribe against President Duterte - that his war on drugs is a failure and therefore should be stopped.
She went about town condemning Duterte’s war on drugs. But hardly had the reverberations of her discourse could settle the international media came out with breaking news: The Mexican authority capitulated to the drug cartels at the height of violence when the well-armed drug syndicates waged a war against the government which too did not spare private business enterprise. Mexico, which not too long ago condemned the Philippines for an unfounded accusation of human rights violation brought about by its campaign against drugs, raised a white flag against the private army of the drug cartel. But only when they released the son of “El Chapo”, the head of the cartel, and several other detained leaders of the drug syndicates that the shooting and the violence ceased. Mexicans are in limbo.
What happened in Mexico defines and demonstrates what failure in the war against drugs is. If she cannot appreciate what Duterte had been doing, Robredo should stop emulating the Mexican Pres. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who, after being overwhelmed by the forces of the drug cartel ordered the Mexican forces to retreat, stop the drug war and free all convicted and detained members and leaders of the drug syndicates.
After Mexico’s defeat, will Leni still stop Duterte’s war against drugs?
About the Columnist
Mr. Jun Ledesma is a community journalist who writes from Davao City and comments from the perspective of a Mindanaoan.