Duterte fumes at Robredo for “Where is Duterte?” tag; VP says President misled by “fake news”

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the people after holding a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) core members at the Malacañang Golf (Malago) Clubhouse in Malacañang Park, Manila on November 17, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte fumed at Vice-President Leni Robredo for allegedly hinting at his absence during her visit to typhoon-hit areas ahead of Duterte who was busy attending the ASEAN Summit that day.

Duterte “cautioned” Robredo for making him appear that he was not doing anything, and for allegedly asking where he was as she did the rounds of those affected by typhoon Ulysses.

Duterte was apparently reacting to comments made by Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo that Robredo had asked about the President when she was visiting typhoon-stricken areas.  Panelo also said in his “Counterpoint” program that Robredo’s spokesperson had further rubbed it in when reporting about the Vice-President’s activities to help typhoon victims starting Nov. 12.

Robredo said that the President may have been misinformed and given “fake news” by those around him regarding her allegedly statements that day.  She said Duterte’s team can review “all my tweets.”

Duterte, irked by Robredo’s alleged statement, started his address to the Filipino nation on Tuesday night, Nov. 17, explaining what he did and lashing at the Vice-President.

“Before I proceed any further, I would like to just give a caution to the Vice President. She made a blunder, a big one, and she practically lied making her incapable of truth. Alam mo ‘yung pakana niya na wala ako sa bagyo — I was here, dito. I was attending a summit — ASEAN Summit ‘yon. So virtual lang palit-palit kami, we were talking sa electronic. Nandito ako noon,” Duterte said on Tuesday night, Nov. 17.

Kasagsagan ng bagyo dumaan diyan sa labas, nag-uusap kami dito. But right after, it was on the second day noong sinabi ko magdaan ‘yung ano, I will excuse myself from the signing of the documents for I have to make a survey sa damage,” he said.

Duterte lashed at Robredo’s alleged action at the start of his talk to the nation and meeting with his cabinet members.

He said that the Vice-President’s team should not have hinted that he was not doing anything at the height of the typhoon.

Hindi ako na-ano sa sabihin mo anong gusto niyang mangyari kung saan ako — nasaan ang Presidente. You know, you should — I am sure that you should — you knew of the ASEAN Summit going on, ASEAN, and that I was delivering the intervention, the statement of intervention for China as the China Coordinator, ASEAN-China, and I was also making my own statement of how the ASEAN approved documents would impact on our economy later on,” Duterte said.

Hindi ako nagtutulog. Ganito ‘yan, ganito ‘yan, Vice President, makinig ka ha, hindi kasi — kasi siguro nakinig noon eh. Remember kayong mga Pilipino sinabi ko sa inyo prangkahan sa press conference, that I am a night person. I work on the state government documents sa gabi,” he said.

“And being a lawyer, hindi ako kagaya ng iba pagka may initial na doon sa ibang opisina dumaan, na pipirma ako. I’m not that kind of person because you know you are a lawyer, I’m a lawyer, so you have to be very careful.”

Ang sinabi ko sa mga tao, tatrabahuin ko ‘yan sa gabi hanggang umaga. I won’t have to complete it because you cannot just finish it in one hour. Well, pirma lang, okay lang. But if you read, ibang istorya ‘yan. So it would take time. Sometimes I sleep four, five, six, seven, sometimes eight pagka madalian.”

Duterte claimed Robreo was grandstanding with her efforts to help people immediately after the typhoon.

Huwag ka masyadong porma-porma, hindi mo talaga panahon. Hindi mo pa panahon. Not time to be making a grandstanding coming up with… Hindi ninyo alam na nagtatrabaho ako. Na-timingan lang it was a summit and I cannot excuse you for not knowing it. You knew that there was a summit going on and you had the gall to say, ‘Nasaan ang Presidente?'” Duterte continued.

-“I’ll be forced to insult you”-

The President even threatened to campaign against Robredo if she runs for president, for allegedly lying.

“So next time, do not commit the mistake or I’ll be forced to insult you because you are playing too much — nagpapa — nagpapa-ano ka, pagpa-beauty ka ng ano. It’s not the time for you. During the campaign… Paalis na ako. Sige, subukan mo,” he said.

Matagal na talaga akong maraming sabihin sa iyo pero ireserba ko na lang. When you start your campaign kung magtakbo ka ng presidente, waswasan kita nang husto. Well, this is your bad — this is your nightmare.”

“Your suggestion, your suggestive question is a poor man’s argument. Ako dishonest ka. I do not believe that you didn’t know that there was a summit conference. And you lied to the public you didn’t even know — or you don’t even know how to tell — how to present it na alam mo mayroon tayo — without even mentioning me. Do not mind me. I can survive,” he added.

The issue has become so popular that it has trended on Twitter with the hashtag #Dutertemeltdown and #NasiraanAngPangulo.  Before this, the “NasaanAngPangulo” tag also trended on Twitter at the height of Typhoon Ulysses.   Duterte at the time was attending the 37th ASEAN Summit, along with other leaders of Southeast Asian Nations.

(Eagle News Service)