Undaunted by supermajority, Robredo expects 'easier' politics in 2nd half of term

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 17 2019 11:01 AM

MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo said she expects the second half of her term to be "more politicized" but "easier" despite having fewer allies in the 18th Congress.

The vice president and opposition leader would only have 4 senator-allies and 18 partymates in the House of Representatives after her 8-member senatorial slate was wiped out in the recent midterm elections.

"Alam namin na approaching 2022, mas magiging grabe 'yung pulitika," Robredo told ABS-CBN News over the weekend.

(We know that approaching 2022, the politicking would worsen.)

"Tingin ko given 'yun, pero tingin ko we are in a more stable ground now than we were when we were starting," she said.

(I think that's a given, but I think we are in a more stable ground now than we were when we were starting.)

There are no more "unrealistic expectations" now that party lines have been drawn, Robredo said.

Robredo was appointed as President Rodrigo Duterte's housing chief in July 2016. After nearly 6 months, the vice president resigned from the post after talk that she would be sacked from the Cabinet.

Robredo has since been uninvited to events in Malacañang and was criticized by several allies of the President, including his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

"Nung nagsta-start kami para kaming bulag na bawat step, hindi namin alam kung ano yung maaapakan. Ngayon mas bukas na 'yung mata namin sa difficulties so wala ng parang unrealistic expectations," she said.

(When we started we were like blind with every step. We did not know if we were going to step on something. Now things are clearer so there are no unrealistic expectations.)

"Tingin ko mas magiging madali din for us kasi na-experience na namin 'yung difficulty during the first 3 years," she said.

(I think it would be easier for us because we already experience the difficulties during the first 3 years.)

Supermajority coalitions in both the House and the Senate would not hinder the opposition's performance in the next 3 years, Robredo said.

"Yung supermajority in Congress, it was also like that in the 17th Congress. Pareho lang," she said, noting that several landmark bills in the 17th Congress were authored by opposition lawmakers.

(There was also a supermajority in the 17th Congress. It's just the same.)

Among these were former Sen. Bam Aquino's Free College Education Law, Sen. Risa Hontiveros' Universal Health Care Law and the institutionalization of the conditional cash transfer program championed by detained Sen. Leila de Lima, the vice president said.