‘I think it would help the Vice President if she really looks and listens in the right places,’ Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella says
MANILA, Philippines (Feb. 26, 2017) — Presidential Spokesman Ernesto Abella cited the Duterte administration’s pro-poor programs on Saturday, February 25, after Vice President Leni Robredo urged the President to focus on the “war on poverty.”
“I think it would help the Vice President if she really looks and listens in the right places,” Abella said in an interview over state-run dzRB.
“I think it’s just a question of opening our eyes and listening and looking at things, and listening to things that truly matter, that are beyond our own political interests,” he added.
Abella mentioned the government’s programs for free irrigation, land ownership for Hacienda Luisita farmers, free medicines for indigent patients, and relocation for Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) survivors.
“I think Ms Robredo was part of the Cabinet from Day 1, almost from Day 1. She saw it, unless she was not listening,” the presidential spokesman said.
He said the problem, however, is that “certain aspects of media tend to listen to an echo chamber, where they see themselves talking about these things.”
Abella made these remarks after Robredo said on Friday, February 24, “Mr President, we call you to task.”
“In behalf of the Filipino people, whose daily struggles are escalating, we ask you to focus on the war that really matters: the war on poverty. Our people are hungry, jobless and poor. Please use your leadership to point the nation towards respect for rule of law, instead of disregard for it; to uphold the basic human rights enshrined in the institution, instead of encouraging its abuse,” the Vice President said.