MANILA (Mabuhay) — All government officials, and not just President Rodrigo Duterte, should be cautious of what they say in public.
This was the advice given by Vice President Leni Robredo in light of a perceived slur by Duterte against US President Barack Obama, who eventually called off his meeting with the Philippine chief executive.
“Siyempre nakakahinayang iyon [hindi natuloy ang meeting]. Pero sa atin naman, I think mahahanapan iyon ng paraan, hindi iyong meeting, pero to repair whatever damage there is sa ating relations,” Robredo told reporters after emerging from a budget hearing at the Senate.
Robredo, who beat Duterte’s runningmate Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano in the May vice presidential race, reminded government officials to watch what they say, especially in public, since they represent Filipinos.
“Ako, sa tingin ko, lahat tayo hindi lang ang Pangulo, pati ako, pati lahat ng government officials… maging maingat din… Kasi what we say, hindi iyon personal,” she said.
“Kaming mga government officials siyempre ang sanasabi namin hindi lang iyong aming personal, pero the people we represent,” Robredo added.
Robredo initially refused to comment on the canceled Duterte-Obama meet, requesting: “Housing na lang muna [ang itanong niyo].”
Robredo was at the Senate to present her office’s proposed budget for 2017, which they pegged at P428.6 million or more than P70 million lower than the 2016 budget under then Vice President Jejomar Binay.
On Tuesday, Duterte expressed regret for his tirade against Obama.
“While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress we also regret it came across as a personal attack on the US president,” a statement released by Duterte said. (MNS)