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    Interview with GMA News to Go (Part 2)

    03 February 2017

    Q: So anong ginagawa ninyo now that you’re not part of the Cabinet?

    VP Leni: Actually, mas busy tayo ngayon. We launched our anti-poverty advocacy program called Angat Buhay in October and it’s what’s occupying most of our time already, aside from the ceremonial duties.

    Nasa amin din kung ano ang gustong gawin. Kasi traditionally aside from the supporting role, the VP is given a Cabinet post.

    Pero ako kasi napaghandaan ko iyon. Kasi if you will recall before the Inauguration, the President issued a statement that he was not intending to give me any cabinet position.

    So early on, we were able to decide na which path we want to take and that path was to make our office more advocacy heavy.

    Q: Do you miss being part of the Cabinet?

    VP Leni: Not being part of the Cabinet, but being head of HUDCC, I miss it. Kasi being head of HUDCC puts me in a position sana to really implement changes sa make-up ng housing. Marami akong problemang nakita. I was there for 6-7 months.

    Maraming problemang nakita, maraming planong gustong gawin na hindi ko nagawa. Iyong description ko nga when I resigned was parang ang feeling ko parang nanay akong nanganak, na after ako manganak, iniwan ko ang anak ko sa ospital. Ganoon ang pakiramdam, iyon ang namimiss ko.

    Q: Ngayon nga po nagbigay ng deadline ang Pangulo kasi pinag-uusapan na din natin ang housing, nagbigay ng deadline ang Pangulo para sa Yolanda housing. Noong bumaba na kayo sa puwesto as HUDCC chair, nasaang stage na po ba?

    VP Leni: Marami kami noong mga request to Malacanang to sign an executive order to make it easy. Kasi ang problema kasi sa Yolanda is not so much on may availability of funds ba o wala, kasi appropriated na ang pera.

    Ang pinakaproblema ng Yolanda, bureaucratic red tape. Maraming hindi pa na-unlock na mga bottlenecks, paglipat ng mga titles sa properties.

    And ang batas natin nag-rerequire na ganito ang title, dapat ang papeles maayos. Ang red tape patungkol dito, sobrang haba niyan na ang average 2-3 years.

    Q: Do you think mami-meet itong March deadline na ito ng Pangulo?

    VP Leni: Tingin ko kaya siya i-meet basta number one, magkasundo ang lahat ng agencies to do away with the red tape.

    Number two, ang suggestion ko before I left was to download the money to the LGUs already. Kasi pag sinosolo ng NHA, di naman kaya ng NHA.

    Q: Sinabi ninyo kanina na patuloy ang advocacies ninyo lalo na iyong alleviate poverty. Where do you get the funds?

    VP Leni: Sa amin ano, wala kaming pondo for that. It’s not in the mandate of the OVP. So ang ginawa naming design ng programa is we are just acting as a conduit between the beneficiaries and the private donors.

    So ano lang kami, we make things happen parang being the conduit – para mag-meet kung sino ang nangangailangan, sino ang gusto magbigay ng tulong. Right now we adopted 50 LGUs across the country and these are 50 of the poorest, farthest, smallest LGUs.

    We were able to partner them already with private organizations. And in October when we launched it we were able to get 720 pledges already and the pledges keep on coming.

    Q: Kayo po ay may ongoing pa din na electoral protest. Si Bongbong Marcos, ano na po ba ang status nito?

    VP Leni: Ngayon kasi marami pang pending motions which have not been acted upon yet. By law, I cannot talk about the case kasi masa-sub judice ako. Bawal iyon.

    Pero ang sa akin lang, ang kinakalungkot ko lang dito na ginawa siyang media issue na maraming sinasabi ang kampo ni Bongbong Marcos na hindi totoo.

    Halimbawa, when the Supreme Court ordered the unused SD cards to be returned by COMELEC to Smartmatic as was agreed upon in the contract.

    At naglabas na naman si BongBong Marcos ng media release na iyong SD Cards daw na ibibigay ng COMELEC sa SmartMatic contained all the evidence of massive electoral fraud.

    Obviously, it was for media consumption because when he was challenged by Atty. Macalintal, my lawyer, na if he would be able to prove that those SD cards would be able to contain that information, then we should be able to enter into an agreement na pag na-prove niya, i-susurrender ni Atty. Macalintal ang kanyang license.

    Pag na-approve, baliktad ang mangyayari the challenge was given to them yesterday, and they did not rise up to the challenge. It was all for media and I think it’s unfair to the Philippine people.

    Q: Are you still confident na makakakuha ka ng favorable desisyon from the Supreme Court?

    VP LENI: Oo naman, oo naman.

    Q: Given that this is the supreme court na pumayag na ilibing ang dating pangulo sa libingan ng mga bayani?

    VP LENI: Alam mo, despite the fear of so many of our kababayans that baka hindi maging fair ang Supreme Court, ako, tingin ko, kailangan tayong tumiwala. Kasi ito iyong parang last bastion of democracy, siya iyong mag-dedecide what is fair and what is not, what is right and what is wrong.

    Kailangan natin tiwalaan ang institusyon. Ako naniniwala ako although I cannot talk about the details of the case, naniniwala ako na pag nadesisyunan ang kaso, fair and square, wala naman kaming kailangang ikatakot.

    We know that parang hindi kami naging bahagi ng isang pagdadaya, naniniwala kami na walang ganon noong eleksyon, we think that the elections generally was clean, was fair, was honest, and we have the mandate of the Filipino people.

    Q: Okay, mag-iisang taon na kayo as VP do you think na kayo ay truly naka-adjust na, malaki ba ang pinagbago sa buhay ninyo when you were not Vice President, gaano po kalaki ang pinagbago sa inyong buhay?

    VP LENI: Malaki ang pinagbago. Noong una, iyong work days ko, mas humaba na ngayon.

    Q: Do you still take the bus?

    VP LENI: I still take the bus from time to time. But not as often as I used to. Not because I don’t want to anymore, pero pag nagbubus kasi maraming security na kasama so parati nating consideration ay ang convenience ng mga nakasakay.

    Kung palagay natin hindi naman tayo makaka-istorbo, okay, we do that from time to time, pero mas kulang ang istorbo pag sa eruplano, although mas expensive ang eruplano. Mas kulang ang istorbo.

    Q: Siguro as a final question, alam ko naman you’re in touch with people who support you pero marami of the supporters ng Pangulo ay kasama sa haters mo. Do you have a message to your haters, or to the supporters of the President who hate you? What would that be?

    VP LENI: Baka hindi na siguro, baka hindi na ako magme-message because I think it’s a lost cause. It’s a lost cause in the sense that hindi naman nila ako kilala, pero mayroon na silang judgement.

    Hindi iyon ang judgment ng mga tao na nakakakilala sa akin. Siguro magmemensahe ako sa mga bukas pa, pero ito naman iyong karamihan sa kanila, ano na talaga, sirado na talaga, so huwag na pagaksayahan ng oras.

    Q: Ano ang mensahe mo sa mga bukas pa?

    VP LENI: Ako nagpapasalamat. Kasi iyong bukas pa ang pag-iisip iyon ang mga nag-mamatter ang kanilang comments because it allows us to look at ourselves. Kung may nagagawa akong mali, hindi rin tama kung mali na ang ginagawa natin pinupuri pa tayo.

    Posted in Transcripts on Feb 02, 2017