Thursday, September 8, 2016
Robredo piggybacking on Duterte's war on drugs to gain media mileage
As predicted last week (read here), Leni Robredo’s PR team is toning down her socialite positioning and hitching a ride on Duterte’s war on drugs.
While President Duterte is away on his ASEAN trip, Robredo set a briefing with the DILG to discuss the anti-drug campaign (read here).
According to Robredo:
– “Yes, we have 700,000 surrenderers but that should not be treated as an accomplishment.”
– “We have to make it a point that drug rehabilitation is the way to go. You can tell us five locations where the surrenderers are so we can start working . . . we are looking for ways where our office can plug the holes.”
“Rehabilitation is the way to go,” Robredo said. This novel thought probably never occurred to Duterte’s men, that’s why they allocated almost P3 billion for building rehab centers in the 2017 national budget.
Why is Robredo trying to get involved in rehab centers, when drug rehab has no connection to her role as Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) head?
A few weeks ago, a commenter who sounded like a member of Robredo’s camp wrote a revealing statement here on GRP in reaction to a post comparing Robredo’s lack of accomplishment with the achievements of DENR Sec. Gina Lopez: “Unlike DENR, Housing isn’t as controversial or glamorous,” the commenter said in his/her long defense of Robredo. (Scroll down to read comment on this link)
Based on this, we can infer that Robredo’s camp doesn’t think she will get enough media mileage if she simply focuses on her HUDCC assignment, therefore she needs to find something more controversial. And what is the most controversial issue right now? Duterte’s war on drugs.
Identifying herself with the drug war will also make it easier for Robredo to take credit for Duterte’s accomplishments in solving the drug problem if her camp succeeds in unseating him, similar to how Noynoy Aquino took credit for Gloria Arroyo’s accomplishments in the economic sector.
A lawyer friend made this interesting observation recently: if we really think about it, Robredo is the root cause of the political turmoil we are experiencing in the country today.
What motivates the opposition’s relentless campaign to unseat Duterte is the fact that they were able to extra-legally install a proxy in the line of succession. If Robredo’s succession in the event of a vacancy is no longer automatic–such as by amending the pertinent provision in the Constitution through a direct people’s initiative during the rescheduled barangay elections on October 2017–there will be more stability in the country.
The amendment can state that, should there be a vacancy in the presidency, another government official such as the House Speaker will become the caretaker of the government until special elections are held, say, within three months. President and Vice-President should be elected as a joint pair in these new elections, similar to the US, to end the vicious cycle in this country of losing party trying to unseat the winner. Should this special election ever need to be held, Robredo can run if she wants to, and prove whether she has a legitimate mandate or not.
I don’t know how feasible this suggestion is, but if it can be done, it might help restore sanity to this country and put an end to the endless power play, so our government officials can finally focus on their jobs.
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