Leni Robredo made me very happy today. She said something not expected from the yellow slate. In fact, she said something contrary to the yellow slate rhetoric.
“It’s not the time to accuse the drought-hit farmers who lost three of their colleagues during a violent police dispersal in Kidapawan City on April 1, Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo said on Wednesday.
The Camarines Sur congresswoman once again made clear her disagreement with her running mate Mar Roxas on the issue after the latter suggested on Tuesday that the protesting farmers were being used for political reasons by certain groups.
“Let’s not mind the accusations at this time,” said the widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, directing her comments at “government and the other stakeholders.The important thing is first to respond to their grievances and to show that government is doing something for them,” Robredo said.
She said playing the blame game would accomplish little: “Let’s look first at the plight of the farmers and their families because everyone knows that they have been hit hard by the drought.”
The neophyte lawmaker earlier urged the suspension of officials directly involved in the dispersal operations for the duration of the investigation.
In contrast, Roxas’ position has been more circumspect, saying that while he strongly condemned the bloodshed “both on the law enforcement side and on the side of the protesters,” he felt a full investigation was necessary to ferret out the truth.
“This may have been instigated by politicians who wanted something to happen to heighten the issue or raise their ratings,” said Roxas, a former interior secretary who once exercised administrative control over the national police.
Let me be clear: I never considered her before as a good choice. As a developmental lawyer, she was expected -by me, at least- to articulate in Congress the issues of the poor and oppressed. She did not, perhaps because of her yellow shirt. When she ran for VP, the only thing she kept saying that I agreed to was "Never again" to Martial Law. But it is precisely because she kept saying "Never again" that I expected her to speak out against the all-too evident and huge remnants of the Reign of Terror in the present. Probably, again, she was limited by that yellow shirt covering every inch of her political skin. "Never again" is the only good thing Roxas has been saying to woo voters as if he was even a warm body on the streets during the Reign of Terror. To me, Roxas' oligarchic view of development is on my "Never again" list. EDSA was not just about ousting A Man; it was also about ousting the structure he put in place. Of course, Roxas' principal slogan is "Daang matuwid," a road that is crooked but where bad guys not allied with the yellow army are slain. His VP keeps saying it, too.
She was not Roxas' first choice; Grace Poe was. She was a reluctant candidate. She said yes after what people say was a calculated pause. She became such an even bigger disappointment because in her campaign, she still would not say a word about the sectors developmental legal advocacy serves--the Lumads in Mindanao harassed by the military and paramilitary groups, other indigenous peoples and the mining communities opposing corporate plunder, the farmers struggling against hacienderos, the poor being swept away to make way for high-rise enclaves of the rich. You'd expect a veep wanna-be from the alternative law practice to highlight the issues of these people. And then she said there was no point in reopening the investigation of Mamasapano bloodbath. Bang! I could no longer imagine her in a place outside of Roxas' armpits this election.
Now, the widow of the well-loved Jessie Robredo is slamming the government for the Kidapawan massacre while Roxas, that phlegmatic guy with a midget heart for the poor, is asking who financed the protesters. I think she is finally letting her heart take over. I think she is struggling to get back to her roots. Will she be able to before May 9?
Ahh, Leni, you allowed yourself to become a deodorizer. I wonder if you can really leave Roxas' armpits.
Now let me go back to the K-to-12 memorandum. Good thing Rody Digong Duterte is with us in opposing this ill-conceived, anti-poor program. Neri Colmenares is one of the petitioners before the Supreme Court seeking to have the program scrapped.