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Helplessly smiling?

Gregorio Miguel Pallugna

LENI Robredo, like a sour-graping loser in a child’s game, decided to make a pontificating video telling on the Duterte’s drug war to the United Nations. But like a true political tool, she was smiling beautifully while delivering her recorded speech about “very grim statistics,” all the while having the seal of the office of the Vice President hanging behind her.

This ill-advised action on her part only proves three things. First, that she is unfit to be vice president. Second, that she is unfit to be a lawyer. And third, that she is unfit to be a Filipino. I am actually so outraged by her sheer stupidity that I am at the brink of saying that she is also unfit to be a person.

In the video sent by this sorry excuse for a vice president named Leni Robredo addressed to a side session of the 60th Annual Meeting of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs, she proudly and beamingly informed the international community that since Duterte took office as president, more than 7,000 people have been killed in the war against drugs and that the Filipino people now feel “hopeless and helpless.”

Foremost, Leni Robredo should know that the seal of the Office of the Vice President is only allowed to be used when the Vice President is acting in her official capacity, and not when she is actively promoting a bad image of the country to the world. No matter how much Leni Robredo opposes the policies of the Philippine government, this does not justify the improper representation of the country to the international community without any authority from the President who is the sole author of foreign relations. Leni Robredo should very well know this considering that she has been a lawyer for a long time. When she hung the seal of the Vice President behind her, she was effectively telling the world that she was acting as a representative of the government of the Philippines and not as a private individual.

As a second point, it is very clear that the figure she gave about the deaths due to the war on drugs is not based on any official statistics. By saying that more than 7,000 have been killed, she is declaring that our police authorities have been lying and that she alone has the exact and true figures of the actual deaths due to the anti-drugs campaign. The Vice President of the Republic, ladies and gentlemen, officially declared to the whole world that our police system has broken down. In fact, she actually said that the people no longer know where to run to because the police cannot be trusted anymore. This boggles the mind because in the very same speech, she actually acknowledged “the Honorable Chito Gascon” who is the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights in the Philippines. If the people no longer know where to run, what is the “Honorable Chito Gascon” doing then? It is the duty of the CHR to act on complaints regarding abuses by public officials and to file the appropriate cases in the proper judicial or quasi-judicial bodies.

Finally, by addressing her “grim” concern to the United Nations, the smiling Vice President actually declared to the entire international community that our judicial system no longer works and cannot be trusted anymore. As a lawyer, Leni Robredo is bound by the Canons of Professional Responsibility and by it she is sworn to avoid any activities that aims to lessen confidence in our legal system. If indeed all her claims of extra-judicial killings are true and grounded, the appropriate thing to do is to file the proper cases in Court or whatever other government office having jurisdiction over the matter. After doing that, she should go through the processes provided under our laws and regulations, before crying foul. She effectively just threw away our legal system and decided that no one is good enough to address the problem but the international community through the Convention of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs which the “Honorable Chito Gascon” is very conveniently a part of.

I am not enraged at the spectacle that Leni Robredo played because I am in favor of the drug war. I am fuming because the Office of the Vice President is a very high position that is given great respect in the international community. When she opens her mouth to paint a very foul picture of our country before the international community, the world will take it as gospel truth not because she is “Leni Robredo–the righteous and most noble” but because she audaciously hung the seal of her office behind her smiling Mona Lisa apparition. I am mad because she single-handedly destroyed the image of our Supreme Court and all our justices and judges before the world. I am irate because she declared that the Philippine government in its totality has failed so miserably that the second highest official of the land had to make a video begging the league of all nations to do something because the Filipino people are hopeless and do not know where to run anymore. They apparently are so helpless that the people cannot even run to the CHR or the Office of the Vice President for any assistance, although with her grace Leni Robredo can still afford to smile while saying all these “grim” details.

Leni Robredo has taken advantage of her very high position clearly to advance personal political interests at the expense of our established legal institutions. By by-passing all legal remedies available in our country and declaring hopelessness before the whole world she has betrayed all of us as our Vice President, she has betrayed her oath as a lawyer, and she has betrayed her country as a Filipino. For all of these, she deserves to be impeached, disbarred and disowned. Unless of course she accepts full responsibility by claiming stupidity, in which case I am sure we can totally forgive her because stupidity is something we have consistently accepted as part of Philippine politics since time immemorial.

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