Leni Robredo flew to Davao today to visit the victims of the Friday night bomb blast. People are now arguing about whether or not her visit was yet another PR stunt. Let us analyze.
1) This morning, the picture below of Robredo at a party was circulating on Facebook.
According to the post, the photo was taken on September 3, Saturday (one day after the blast), at a hotel in Naga City. The caption says, “Early on, partygoers were requested not to take photos of the VP but in the age of selfies and social networking, who could stop them?”
Assuming the above info is accurate, was it wrong for Robredo to have been at a party one day after the blast, while a sleepless President Duterte was still working to look after the victims in Davao and supervise the investigation?
Not necessarily. Nobody knew the blast would happen last Friday, and the party could have been scheduled way before.
2) This afternoon, the Leni Robredo Media Bureau released the pictures below of Robredo visiting the blast victims in Davao.
(scroll down to 6th or 7th spot to see pix from media bureau)
Robredo did not give any interviews, saying the visit was private.
What can we infer from 1) and 2) ?
I think it’s fair to say that Robredo did not want to be seen partying in Naga one day after the blast, but she was more than willing to be seen visiting the victims in Davao two days after the blast.
So what’s the conclusion?
We cannot discount that Robredo’s sympathy for the victims might have been genuine, but it is very clear that publicity was one of the goals of her visit as well. Why? Because if she really wanted the visit to be private, she could have arranged not to have photos taken or released to media, as with 1).
On a side note, if you compare Robredo’s behavior while visiting the victims with that of Duterte, you will see a distinct difference. Duterte’s pain and grief were palpable even when he was just standing by the hospital beds and not touching the victims. Robredo, on the other hand, seemed very conscious of the cameras, and did not quite have the same depth of emotion as Duterte even when she was going out of her way to touch the victims.
In fact, as you can see from these photos, she kept smiling.
While Duterte’s face was grim and pained when he was going around visiting the victims, Robredo was going around with her campaign-trail smile.
You can judge for yourself how real her grief was. One thing’s for sure, don’t be surprised if the photos of her visiting the victims end up on the front page of the Inquirer tomorrow.
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