Robredo offers unsolicited advice to Duterte: ‘Be more deliberate’
Vice President Leni Robredo’s unsolicited advice to the President? Think twice before you speak and learn to keep some of your opinions to yourself.
Although President Rodrigo Duterte has not sought any advice from her, Robredo said she would like to tell the president to watch his words because all his statements are now considered policies being the highest public official in the country.
“Hindi pa naman siya humihingi ng advice pero kung sakaling dumating ‘yung oras na ‘yon, gano’n din sasabihin ko. Sana hindi ganon ang pananalita. Parati lang siguro ipapaaalala sa kanya, sa aming public officials, na ‘yung sinasabi natin, lalo na sa Presidente, is policy,” Robredo said in a press briefing in the Office of Vice President at the Quezon City Reception House on Wednesday.
(He has not asked me for advice yet, but when that time comes, I would tell him the same thing. I would tell him not be brash about his language. I would remind him that for public officials like us, our statements are treated as policy.
Key allies of Duterte in both houses of Congress earlier advised him to refrain from issuing statements until he learns to speak like a statesman.
“Marami kaming mga personal na pakiramdam na hindi dapat sinasabi sa publiko dahil sa aming position. Kaya kay President, papaalala lang siguro sa kanya na what he says is policy kaya maiging mas maging careful,” she said.
(We have personal opinions that we do not have to express publicly because of our positions. So for the President, I will just remind him that what he says is policy so he needs to be more careful.)
“As far as diplomacy is concerned, baka makakatulong na mas deliberate, mas pinag-iisipan bago nagsasalita (it would probably help if he becomes more deliberate or think more carefully before he speaks),” Robredo added.
The firebrand president’s controversial remarks drew strong responses from several personalities, organizations and countries, including the United States (US) and its President Barack Obama, European Union (EU), United Nations (UN).
Duterte on Tuesday lashed out at the US commander-in-chief anew for his criticism on the government’s bloody war against drugs, which had claimed lives of over 3,000 individuals.
The President also threatened to cut ties with the Philippines’ longtime ally, the US, adding that the country could instead seek support from Russia and China.
“Instead of helping us, the first to criticize is this State Department, so you can go to hell, Mr. Obama, you can go to hell,” Duterte said. Addressing the EU, he said: “Better choose purgatory, hell is filled up.”
But the country’s second in command said establishing alliances with Russia and China does not mean the Philippines has to end its decades-old alliance with the US.
“Okay naman na nakikipagkaibigan tayo sa China at Russia (It’s okay if we become more friendly with China and Russia) but it also doesn’t mean we have to lose some friends to pave the way for others. Tingin ko naman, parating may room for more friends kaya sana ‘yung direction mas mag-reach out to as many countries as possible (I believe that we have room for more friends, so I hope the direction we take is one where we will reach out to as many countries as possible),” she said.
READ: Off-track foreign policy
“Hindi naman mutually exclusive ‘yung friendship natin with US and friendship with China. Pwede naman na kaibigan natin ang US at kaibigan natin ang China. Pwede naman kaibigan ang Russia at kaibigan EU (Our friendship with US and friendship with China are not mutually exclusive. We can be friends with the US while being friends with China. We can be friends with Russia while being friends with the EU),” Robredo added. IDL
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