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    Amid mudslinging, VP Leni reiterates: Focus must be on candidates, issues that matter in midterm polls

    11 March 2019

    Robredo says ‘mothers know best’ as Sara Duterte announces mom’s order to retreat

    HONG KONG — Vice President Leni Robredo reiterated that the focus should be on the candidates running in the 2019 elections, and the issues that they must face head-on, instead of mudslinging over recycled fake news.

    Sought for comment on the series of tirades launched against her by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, VP Leni said she will not engage in an exchange of insults, especially one that distracts from the main issues that must be addressed for the benefit of the electorate.

    “Iyong sa akin kasi, pagpasensyahan niyo na, pero ayaw kong pumasok sa isang usapan na, una, dala ng init ng ulo; pangalawa, may insultuhan; pangatlo, parang masama iyong pananalita. Kasi wala naman tayong mapapala diyan. Iyong sa akin lang, kung may isyu, sagutin. Pero hindi nakakatulong na nagbabatuhan ng insulto,” she told reporters on Sunday in Hong Kong, where her office held a special event for Istorya ng Pag-asa, to recognize the inspiring stories of Filipino workers based here.

    “Iyong sa akin, ngayon ay campaign season. Napakahalaga para sa amin ng senatorial elections, kaya nga pinagpapaguran. Ayaw sana natin na malihis sa tamang mga issues na dapat pagdebatehan, kasi aagawin pa namin iyong atensyon galing sa mga kandidato. Hindi naman kami kandidato,” she added.

    ‘Mothers know best’

    Mayor Duterte, who stands as the chairperson of Hugpong ng Pagbabago, had hurled a series of malicious statements against VP Leni, raising disinformation that have repeatedly been used against the Vice President, including claims of an affair with a married man, winning the Vice Presidency through a “massive fraud” in the 2016 polls, and criticizing the administration because of her “dreams of becoming President.”

    In a separate interview, VP Leni fought back against these, saying these rumors have already been answered and should not be used to “deflect” from the issues of the midterm elections, including the administration candidates’ refusal to engage in debates.

    Robredo noted that Mayor Duterte raised the recycled allegations against her only after she countered the latter’s view that honesty should no longer be an election issue because “everybody lies.”

    “Hindi totoong hindi ko iyon sinagot,” she said. “Mahirap na patulan iyong fake news, kasi paulit-ulit lang. Mula 2016 hanggang ngayon, paulit-ulit lang. Kahit sinagot mo na nang ilang beses, ang sinasabi nila hindi sinagot. Nandiyan iyong pruweba, tingnan niyo kung kailan ko sinagot—at matagal na iyon. Madaling hanapin, kasi nasa Facebook iyon.”

    “Pero iyong sa akin, ayaw kong i-deflect iyong usapan. Nagsimula lang naman nito iyong debate ng mga kandidato sa eleksyon. Paraan ba ito para ma-deflect iyong isyu? Kasi hindi naman kami mga kandidato ngayon. Iyong dapat nakatuon iyong pansin ng tao, sa mga kandidato—sila iyong dapat nagde-debate, hindi kami,” she added.

    On Sunday, the Davao City mayor announced that she has been ordered by her mother to stop the word war against the opposition.

    Asked to comment on this, VP Leni said: “Mothers know best,” and reiterated that while she will remain critical of policies and pronouncements of the administration, she will not engage in exchanges of foul words.

    “Iyong sa akin kasi, iyong kaya ko lang kontrolin, sarili ko,” she said. “Basta ako, iyong policy ko, kapag hindi maganda iyong usapan—gustong sabihin, may halong pag-iinsulto, may halong masamang mga sinasabi—out ako diyan.”

    “Pupuna ako kapag may kailangang punahin, pero in a manner na walang ganiyanan—walang insultuhan, diretso sa puna,” she added. “Kapag paniniwala mo, kailangan mong sabihin, kahit alam mong, parang, may repercussions ito. Pero parati kong inaalala na parating in the end, iyong tama naman saka iyong totoo iyong lalabas.”

    Posted in Press Releases on Mar 11, 2019