MANILA - Vice President Leni Robredo on Monday said her office’s anti-poverty programs were not geared towards any possible presidential bid in 2022.
Robredo said her various anti-poverty programs usually go to far-flung places with very few populations, thus she said she could not be accused of courting votes.
The vice-president, who has focused on her office’s flagship anti-poverty program Angat Buhay since leaving the Cabinet, said however that she was keeping her options open for a presidential bid in 2022 but this should not distract her from her current tasks.
“Ang pinupuntahan namin na lugar ‘di siya vote-rich kasi sinusubukan namin mag-fill in ng gaps na 'yung mga lugar na ang accessibility sa government programs mahina dahil malayo sila,” Robredo told reporters.
(We go to places which are not vote-rich because we want to fill in the gaps in the delivery of government programs.)
“Sa akin kasi mahirap na planuhin siya, kasi pag plinano siya parang lahat ng ginagawa ko, ang iniisip ko na 'yung saan ba ako makakakuha ng maraming boto. Parang kontra kasi siya sa ginagawa namin.”
(It’s hard to plan it because if I do, everything I do will be aimed towards getting votes. That’s against our advocacy.)
Robredo made this statement after Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon noted that like Robredo, Diosdado Macapagal was not given a Cabinet post when he served as vice-president under the administration of President Carlos P. Garcia.
“What Diosdado Macapagal did for the 4 years he was in office was to go around the country, helping the needy. Subsequently, Diosdado Macapagal won the presidency. Whether or not there is a parallel to that, I’m just stating facts,” Drilon said.
During Monday's budget hearing, Drilon and several of his colleagues praised Robredo for her anti-poverty programs.
Robredo said she noticed that the vice-president’s office’s budget was mostly meant for “ceremonial work” and she wanted to transform her office’s activities into something more worthwhile.
“We conceptualized a new mission and vision for the office and converted our office into a convergence platform for engaging citizens in nation-building, promoting the principles of democracy, and empowering our citizens in the fight against poverty,” she said.
In keeping with tradition, a Senate finance subcommittee approved the P673 million budget of Robredo’s office for 2020.