De Lima defends VP Robredo vs Duterte’s tirades

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has come into the defense of Vice President Leni Robredo against Mr. Duterte’s latest tirades belittling her leadership capabilities and rejecting her as his duly constitutional successor.

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, reminded Duterte that his presidency is not the benchmark of good governance and is not even “a tough act to follow.”

“Aside from revealing once again his disdain of the Constitution and the rule of law, Duterte has this hallucination that his presidency is a tough act to follow,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 365.

“Well, it is not. It is one of the worst, if not the worst presidency ever. After him, Marcos might even be surpassed as the most murderous and corrupt president the country ever had,” she added.

After admitting he has grown exhausted of fighting corruption and illegal drugs, Duterte claimed he is willing to step down if the likes of Sen. Francis Escudero or former Sen. Bongbong Marcos would succeed him.

Asserting that Robredo is not fit to be his successor, Duterte also belittled Robredo’s leadership capabilities by saying that she could not handle the pressing issues hounding the country, including the drug menace.

In the 2016 vice presidential polls, Robredo handily defeated Marcos – a known ally of Duterte – and Escudero.

Marcos, however, has refused to accept his loss and filed an electoral protest against Robredo, blaming alleged “massive cheating” as the reason behind his electoral defeat to her in the polls by a margin of 263,473 votes.

De Lima expressed confidence that Robredo can perform better than Duterte as President, especially in terms of handling criminality and corruption and improving international relations.

“Upon succession to the presidency, VP Leni would certainly end all the killings and bring the killers to justice; she would immediately stop the policy of mendicancy to China and once again fight for our Spratlys territories through the maximum use of the landmark ruling of the UNCLOS Arbitral Tribunal;

“She would restore decency and civility in our damaged society; she would promptly bring back respect to the country in the international community, simply by not being obnoxious or offensive to the world like Duterte was,” she said.

De Lima said Robredo can “put an end to the culture of impunity in government that saw Duterte appointees and allies robbing the people in broad daylight while at the same time having the gall to be self-righteous about it.”

The Senator from Bicol maintained that it is not anymore hard to be a better President after Duterte, saying, “the real challenge to the next President is fixing all that Duterte has broken, which is almost everything that was good about this country and its people.”

Since Duterte launched his administration’s all-out war on drugs, more than 23,000 suspected drug offenders have died without being accorded a day in court and the culture of impunity has been rampant.

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