The decline in Vice President Leni Robredo’s satisfaction ratings is a “cause for alarm” that came as a consequence of her standing as a leading figure in the opposition, a lawmaker allied to her said Tuesday, April 11.
Asked about the latest SWS survey, where Robredo took the biggest dip among top government officials, Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat said it was “definitely” a cause for alarm “because it’s a downward trend.”
The Vice President’s net satisfaction rating now stands at a “moderate” +26, down by 11 points from December 2016’s “good” +37. The survey was conducted from March 25 to 28, at the time Robredo was under fire for her controversial video message for a UN side session. In the said video, she raised irregularities over the current administration's anti-illegal drugs campaign.
The recorded message has since ignited talks of impeachment against her from several supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte, including House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Baguilat, a member of the Liberal Party in which Robredo sits as interim chair, noted that the decline in her ratings is due to her “crusade to speak the truth,” especially since she left President Duterte’s Cabinet.
“That’s the consequence, kasi if you’re in a very difficult crusade to tell the truth, ganiyan talaga ‘yung magiging consequence niya, especially na bilang head of opposition to a very popular government, meron talagang implications ‘yung mga positions niya,” he told GMA News Online in a phone interview on Tuesday.
Baguilat noted that Robredo is“not a populist leader who would not just say what the people want to hear.”
“Since umalis siya sa Duterte Cabinet, parang nasa isang krusada siya na siya ‘yung namumuno sa opposition, and definitely it requires taking certain difficult positions on controversial issues… so sa kaniya right now, ang kaniyang mindset is to speak the truth.And sometimes sa mga kababayan natin,medyo siguro hindi magandang pakinggan ‘yung katotohanan,” he added.
Cabinet resignation, ‘organized’ smear campaign
The lawmaker also said Robredo’s resignation as Housing czar late last year has left the public without solid metrics to measure her performance.
“It’s really a challenge for her kasi nga since umalis siya sa gabinete, walang batayan kasi ang taumbayan na suriin kung ano ba ang kaniyangperformance bilang isang national official. ‘Yung ibang bise presidente kasi, nu’ng nakaraan, they have their Cabinet positions,” he said.
“Iba kasi kung meron kang programa na hinahawakan wherein the people can judge you whether you’re performing well or not. Sa ngayon, medyo hindi alam siguro ng taumbayan kung ano ‘yungpinakatungkulin na ngayon ng bise presidente except sa pagiging spare tire,”he added.
For his part, Quezon City Rep.Jose Christopher “Kit” Belmonte blamed an “organized” effort to discredit Robredo for the decline in her ratings.
“May organized campaign kasi na siraan siya. Parang kasalanan niya palahat ng mga nangyayaring ‘di tama sa lipunan natin ngayon, kung ‘yung mgananinira ang papakinggan ng tao,” Belmonte, LP’s secretary general, toldGMA News Online in a text message.
Asked if he’s alarmed by this downward trend, he replied: “It’s more of a challenge than a cause of alarm.”
Baguilat said the challenge in addressing the situation falls on Robredo’s messaging.
“Siguro ang kailangan talagang gawin ngayon is to really discern kungano talaga ‘yung messages na dapat ipahayag ni Bise Presidente para ma-arrestitong downward trend,” he said.
“It’s probably also ‘yung challenge sa team ng communication steam ni Bise Presidente, to come up with messages para maipaliwanag sa taumbayan kung ano ‘yung kaniyang role na ngayon sa ating lipunan at sa ating pamahalaan,” he added.
Asked if LP has planned moves to help its chairperson with this, Baguilat said their efforts are currently more about helping “cascade” her messages.
“What we do is hinihintay namin kung meron bang mga messages o mga core messages na galing sa Vice President, which we as Liberals can also cascade down to our constituents. Siguro, I think, maskinakailangan pang pag-usapan namin ‘yung mga susunod pang hakbang para labanan ito,” he said.
“Hindi lang naman si Bise Presidente ang tinitira dito, kundi kami mismo, Liberal Party, ‘yung pagiging dilaw, ‘yan ‘yung talagang binabanatan, sokailangan dalhin namin ‘yung debate into a more rational one, especially in terms of kung ano ‘yung role ng opposition sa ating lipunan,” he added. — GMANews